How often do you find yourself doin’ it for the ‘gram? We’ll admit we’ve been known to keep social media in mind when we’re shopping for shorts, planning a wellness vacation, or taking photos of our food. The struggle of Instagram-worthy content is real, people! So real, in fact, that Chase Slate recently conducted a survey of about 2,000 people aged 18-37 to gain insight into millennial spending, saving, and Instagramming habits… and found that we’re willing to spend $137 for the perfect Instagram post. What does all this mean for our financial futures? We spoke with Farnoosh Torabi, Chase Slate financial education ambassador, to learn more about the surprising survey findings and get her tips on how to maintain a healthy budgeting balance (without giving up IG).

Millennial Money Habits

Two women in matching hats pose for a selfie

While Chase Slate’s survey found that millennials are willing to spend nearly $140 for the perfect Instagram post, it also shows we’re practicing healthy saving habits. Nearly three-fifths of those surveyed say they’re “successfully” saving, and 69 percent have a plan in place to improve their credit score within the year. Travel, experiences, food, and fashion were the highest four spending categories, and more than three-fourths of those surveyed posted a purchase to Instagram within the past six months.

“I think more than any other previous generation, millennials face great pressure to spend and live beyond their means. There are many more influences — largely in the general media and social media — that they have to manage, which can pose challenges when it comes to spending meaningfully and thoughtfully,” Torabi says. However, she notes that “the good news is that millennials have more information than any other previous generation with regard to how to save and spend wisely,” like saving apps and online financial calculators to help us stay focused on our finances.

Stay Goal-Oriented

A woman considers an item displayed in a store window

Speaking of staying focused, Torabi truly believes in the power of the imagination when it comes to meeting your financial goals: “It’s no secret that visualizing goals can be a powerful mechanism for achieving your biggest dreams.” “Give your money meaning and a sense of direction by aligning your saving and spending with very specific goals,” she advises — whether that’s creating a savings account specifically for a vacation or putting all of your side hustle profit into paying down your student loans.

Torabi also preaches the power of accountability, suggesting that everyone can benefit from talking about their goals with friends and family. “Studies show that when we share our savings goals with others, we’re more likely to achieve them. We stay accountable and receive support.”

Keep Insta Fresh — And Still Save Money

Despite her advice, Torabi isn’t anti-Instagram: She just thinks we should reframe our relationship to the platform. “Sure, some Instagram accounts are popular for posting tons of merchandise on their feeds, but the Instagram audience also loves to see images that capture fun experiences and positive relationships,” she reminds. Everyone loves a good sunset pic — even if you’re taking it from your neighborhood park instead of an exotic beach — and a selfie of you and your dog on a walk together is way more engaging than a new pair of shoes. “You don’t need to share expensive things to engage well with your followers,” encourages Torabi.

If you are shopping, Torabi suggests “sharing the experience — not the purchase. If a particular outfit catches your eye but the price tag disappoints, try it on anyway and snap a photo. Ask to put the outfit on hold for a day while you consider the purchase, and post your photo on Instagram, along with a caption that shares your conundrum — perhaps something like, ‘To buy or not to buy?’ Not only will this give your followers an honest glimpse into your life, it will also help you crowdsource a difficult purchasing decision. If you tag the store and designer, you might even be able to get a discount!” Okay, we’re definitely using that one.

Do you ever buy with Instagram in mind? Tweet us @BritandCo to tell us how you social-media shop!

(Photos via Getty)