As the curtain closes on every year, I spend time reflecting on how I spent the year. I focus on what I’ve learned, how I’ve changed, and how I’m progressing towards my financial goals. I also look to how I can apply the knowledge I’ve gained over the past year to the next year, specifically to move my financial goals forward.
Why I Spend Time On Social Media
As I look back at 2019, one thing that stands out to me is how much time I’ve spent on social media. The choice was intentional and was for a variety of reasons. The biggest driver was my quest to leave my traditional job. I wanted to research the various avenues available to build an income on the side while I was working full-time.
The Positive Impacts of Social Media
My quest proved to be profitable – I identified freelance writing, bookkeeping, and blogging as potential options to leave my “day job.” I also began to build an audience on Instagram by documenting how I was using my side hustles to pay off my mortgage in three years.
I haven’t yet done my taxes, so I don’t know the exact figure, but I would estimate I’ve earned an additional $2,500 in income through these side hustles. I consider this a huge win.
But the biggest win came was that I left traditional employment, and I started my own business as a financial consultant. I have one client who provides the lion’s share of my revenue. However, I am in the process of introducing bookkeeping as one of the services I offer, which serves to diversify my client base and de-risk my portfolio.
Going out on my own took some major mindset work, which I attribute positively to social media. Through social media, I stumbled upon the concept of mindset through Natalie Bacon and then to Brooke Castillo and Jody Moore. Through their teachings, I’ve gained self-confidence and transitioned to abundance (rather than scarcity).
So, thank you, social media. I appreciate you.
The Negative Impacts of Social Media
However, while you have been instrumental in allowing me to find the tools I needed to increase my income, you also have been instrumental in increasing my expenses.
I take ownership of this. I know my spending triggers. Keeping up with the Joneses is a trap I fall into. While my intent with social media was to broaden my knowledge of side hustle opportunities, it led to comparison – comparison of what clothes I wear, how I do my hair, how my house is decorated, and even how my business was doing.
I found myself buying things I didn’t need and wouldn’t have been aware of if I hadn’t been on social media. This isn’t beneficial for me, and I’ve decided to pivot in 2020.
I’ve decided I won’t build my bookkeeping business through social media (at this time), and I have unfollowed a large number of accounts simply because while I admire them, they are not adding value to my life. And I could argue they are doing the opposite.
What Will Change?
In 2020, I will spend considerably less time on social media – the measurable aspect of this goal is yet to be determined. I don’t believe it’s realistic to cut it out completely. However I think my time is more valuable doing mindset work on how I allow others to influence how I feel about myself, which triggers me to spend more money.
What about you? Do you find social media positively influences your finances through the community, or negatively through the perfect lifestyles portrayed on some accounts? Let us know in the comments below.