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Ways to chill social media’s strain on your wallet

Reuters

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Reuters

By Andrea Januta

Jessica Jones, 26, jokes that when she wants to spend more money, she goes on Instagram.

Jones, an at-home care provider in California, often gets the urge to buy the same shoes or makeup she sees people wearing when she scrolls through Instagram’s stream of carefully curated images. Last week, she bought a pair of Dolls Kill high heels embroidered with pink roses after seeing them on the app.

Those Instagram-inspired purchases put Jones in good company. A recent study found that 57 percent of U.S. millennials shell out money they had not planned to spend because of what they see on social media.

“Social media can be very aspirational, because people often post things that are an idealized version of what they’re living,” said Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “You might get good ideas for a vacation or an outfit or jewelry, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it might not fit into your budget.”

Nearly 90 percent of millennials (ages 20 to 36) surveyed by Allianz Life Insurance Co of North America said social media pushes people to compare their wealth and lifestyle to others’. Only 71 percent of Generation X (ages 37 to 51), and just 54 percent of baby boomers (52 to 70) feel the same way.

Enviable images of other peoples’ lives used to come mostly from glossy magazines and TV, but now we are constantly getting a peek via social media.

“It can be an overwhelming influence on how you see the world,” said Paul Kelash, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life. “If you pay too much attention, then you might start making decisions you otherwise wouldn’t in your spending.”

DO I REALLY NEED IT?

To avoid getting into financial trouble, be honest about what is most important to you.

“Ask: Do I really need that, or do I just want it?” Kelash said.

Once that line is clearly differentiated, keep track of your budget and set goals. For the short term, that could be a vacation. A medium-term goal might be a house, while a long-term goal for most of us is retirement, he added.

The temptation to spend is partly why Joanna Zheng, a 24-year-old equity analyst in New York, recently cut back on her social media use.

“Seeing a friend (on Facebook or Instagram) who is particularly well-dressed or has a cute purse makes me wonder how I can enhance my own wardrobe,” Zheng said.

When Zheng shops, however, she rarely regrets it and makes sure to compensate in other ways. Recently, Zheng bought a pair of merino wool Allbirds sneakers for around $100 that a friend recommended after later seeing several ads on Facebook. For the next few weeks, she avoided shopping areas to stem temptation.

Advertising companies understand how powerful social media ads can be. In 2017, Facebook alone brought in $39.9 billion of revenue from ads. Companies will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have their product mentioned in social media posts by an influencer with a large following.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, recently rolled out Instagram Shopping, which allows people to view product descriptions and pricing without ever leaving the app

Spending is also driven by posts from friends and family. In the Allianz Life survey, more than half of millennials report a “fear or missing out,” also known as FOMO. In fact, 61 percent said they feel inadequate about their own life and what they have because of social media.

To curb impulse purchases, decide ahead of time whether you are going online to shop or if you are just browsing, Palmer advises. Close out other shopping tabs to limit spending.

And rather than buying things immediately, Palmer suggests putting things in your basket to save and then revisit in a day or two. That makes it easier to take a step back and ask if the purchase fits your goals and budget.

An added bonus: Sometimes retailers will send a discount code to entice you to buy.

“It’s about separating that initial impulse to buy,” Palmer said.

(Editing by Lauren Young and Leslie Adler)

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Living

Pickledelphia Rescheduled for October, See You There

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Shit weather put Philly’s first-ever pickle festival in, well, a pickle. The rain washed away plans for the food fest to take place earlier this month, but a new day has been chosen: Sunday, October 14.

The festival will still go down at The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons when it unites pickle lovers this fall.

In case this is the first time you’re hearing about Pickledelphia, here’s what to expect: More than a dozen food vendors, plus 15 pickle companies, who’ll be selling themed edibles such as pickle-flavored ice cream, pickle creme brûlée, and pickle pizza.

Pickledelphia even partnered with Jameson for a pickle back bar. Yeah, they’re not fucking around. Pickle Bloody Mary’s. Pickle margaritas. This is not a drill.

Better than the Weekend will have a tent set up with some giveaways, so be sure to say hi.

Information on the event, presented by Studio 27 Print & Design and Digital Force Agency, can be found by visiting their website: phillypicklefest.com.

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Inside Performix House: The Gym That’s Harder to Get In than an Ivy League School

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Welcome to Performix House — if they’ll let you in. This is New York’s latest elite fitness establishment and it’s where the most driven, fit, influential, able-bodied minds unite to achieve the ultimate Instagram-worthy body. With a 13 percent acceptance rate, it’s easier to get accepted to an Ivy League university such as Cornell.

The fitness incubator is an extension of Performix, a sports performance supplement brand available for sale in GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe.

The lowest tier of membership begins at $249 per month, which does not include independent gym access: members must have a scheduled personal training session with one of Performix House’s trainers to use the fitness facility. For $899 each month, members enjoy the luxury of unlimited access to Performix House’s premium amenities, including massages and cryotherapy.

One month of top-tier membership could allow someone to work out at Planet Fitness for seven-and-a-half years. It would even cost less to lease a 2018 Maserati than it would to be a member at Performix House.

Their personal trainers, who they refer to as collaborators instead of employees, have access to Performix House’s professional video production team to create the best fitness content. videographer and editor to create content. “We’re helping them connect with their consumers and grow their following,” says Hesse.

Devon Levesque is among their training collaborators. He has more than 80,000 Instagram followers.

The dude is a beast.

Matt Hesse, founder and CEO of Performix House, accepted about 230 members out of roughly 1800 applicants.

Hesse told Forbes membership isn’t unobtainable. He wants to bring together a community of driven individuals. Each applicant is given the opportunity to answer one testing question: What do you do to own every day?

After hearing that, my new goal is to work out at Performix House.

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Scranton Artists: Here’s Why We Need Art

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Some jackasses, a.k.a. policy-makers and school boards, just don’t seem to f#&%ing get the importance of art enough to secure its funding and need to have its influence spelled out.

The Electric City is about to get more eclectic thanks to a group of artists banding together — basically for the good of mankind — to host a series of inventive workshops placing priority on connecting the community through creative expression during one of the most politically and culturally divisive climates in modern America. Among the artists, a wine glass painter who helps looking at the emptiness following the last sip of boxed Franzia (we all drink it) a little less depressing. Another makes flashy hats — the kind you saw posh guests wear to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. They’re called fascinators. Then there’s a young woman who crafts dreamcatchers and alters books from their original form to turn them into something eye-catching and display-worthy. A graphic designer is even in the mix.

The workshops will initiate this fall at the new Eclectic City Studio inside Jeff D’Angelo’s Design Group HQ at 631 Prospect Ave.

Each artist will have sign-ups for their debut workshop, while displaying and selling their art, at Bogart Court, the brick alley nestled behind Lackawanna Ave., during First Friday Scranton from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 7. They’ll set up outside AOS Metals, which sells handmade jewelry and a collection of items from local handmade artists, and The Velvet Elvis, a kitschy vintage shop that looks like every crazy rich dead aunt’s estate sale. You’ll find something there that you’ll be glad wasn’t willed to your sister.

The Eclectic Studio founder, Jeff D’Angelo, will feature handmade props throughout Bogart Court — including a display in honor of The Office outside Better than the Weekend’s HQ and a Jurassic Park exhibit and photo booth inside.

Before escaping to the remote Isla Nublar from Jurassic Park — through Jeff D’Angelo’s handmade props — here’s a reminder of why we need art in all of our lives from the artists behind the Eclectic City Studio:

Melanie DiPietro, Painted Wine Glasses by Melanie

“Expression. Not everyone communicates or comprehends the same way. I am a visual person, so colors, shapes, sounds, and movement all speak to me. There’s nothing else in the world that can compare to this type of expression. What a bland place the world would be without art.”

Photographed by Justin Adam Brown, Better than the Weekend, August 2018

Aubrey McClintock, A Daily Obsession

“Life is better decorated. My fascinators are meant to make people smile and are not to be taken terribly seriously. While not everyone is willing to wear a towering french fry sculpture on their head, they can still enjoy that such a thing exists and that there are people out there who will happily sport such a concoction.”

Photographed by Justin Adam Brown, Better than the Weekend, August 2018

Maddesen Paige Wright , DIY Dreamcatchers & Altered Book Art

“Art gives people an outlet; a field to be uncensored and irrevocably themselves.”

Photographed by Justin Adam Brown, Better than the Weekend, August 2018

Kristy Jamison, Two Tree Design Co.

“Our modern world is connected in ways that past generations could only dream of. Art helps us communicate, reflect on, and express our cultures and beliefs. Art can be a powerful, passionate tool that allows us to shout messages about politics and human rights issues across language and cultural barriers. Art — whether it’s drawing, painting, music, words or performance — can also be a meditative and healing outlet, releasing uncensored emotions in a natural and rewarding way. Art feeds our economy and enriches our lives.”

Photographed by Justin Adam Brown, Better than the Weekend, August 2018

Jeff D’Angelo, Jeff D’Angelo Design Group

“Art is truly the purest form of creative expression. People can use art to make their mark on the world and, in turn, promote further growth and interaction with others.”

Photographed by Justin Adam Brown, Better than the Weekend, August 2018

More information on the artists and their First Friday Scranton visit at Bogart Court can be found here.

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