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In this episode, Chelsea walks us through 6 items you probably have seen advertised on your Instagram account, and why they're likely not worth your money. For other overrated purchases that aren't worth your money, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-goyX7SL9Wc

Based on an article by Gina Vaynshteyan: https://thefinancialdiet.com/you-dont-need-these-6-products-despite-what-instagram-says/

Amanda Mull on Grain-Free Pet Foods: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/07/grain-free-dog-food-fda-warning/593167/

TFD's List of Nice, Budget-Friendly Sheets: https://thefinancialdiet.com/12-quality-budget-friendly-sheet-sets-because-staying-in-bed-might-as-well-be-a-luxe-experience/

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

The Financial Diet site: http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefinancialdiet/?hl=en
Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet, and today I am here to roast some stuff. [SIZZLING SOUND] Check the oven, baby, because I think the broiler's on. In all seriousness, today I am here to do something which I think is, quite frankly, a public service and a necessity.

And that is to talk about things that you do not need. If you're a user of social media-- and, let's be honest, specifically a user of Instagram-- you are probably constantly bombarded with all kinds of advertisements and targeted posts and various calls to want things and aspire to things that can leave you feeling constantly in a state of perpetual desire. Listen-- my Instagram algorithm is no fool.

I'm, like, literally talking to my husband in the kitchen the other day-- who's, by the way, back! Back! Oh, I'm sorry.

I just must say I'm very excited my husband and I are reunited again, for those who are following at home. I'm filming this on June 11, so whatever day this comes out, we were reunited on the 7th. Very exciting.

But I'll literally be talking about something in the kitchen, being like, I could really use a microplane, and then 30 minutes later a microplane in some really beautiful kitchen staging is being loaded onto my Instagram feed. Is this because, for the convenience of a Google Home, I am sacrificing every ounce of privacy to the algorithm? Yes.

But it also means that from every angle of my life, I am particularly vulnerable to ads for things I probably don't need. And even if you are not, like me, so easily wooed by fancy kitchen products or unnecessary throw pillows, there are probably things that you are constantly wanting in life that your social media feed is smart enough to serve you. So it's important to enter a place as potentially nefarious and costly as Instagram with a square head on your shoulders about what you do and don't need.

And these are some of the most aggressively marketed products, so you've probably caught yourself thinking, even if they never would have otherwise entered your psyche, is this something I should buy? Let me tell you that the answer is no. Without further ado, 6 Products You Do Not Need No Matter What instagram Says.

Number 1 is fancy supplements and weight loss products. So first of all, let's be clear. You do not need to lose weight unless that is something that is a personal goal of yours that you're working toward in a healthy and sustainable way.

And without getting too in your business, no healthy, sustainable weight loss regime is going to involve medically dubious supplements marketed to you on Instagram by teenage models. And let's be honest that using such an aspirational place where the line between influencer, advertiser, celebrity, real person are all so blurred to sell you the idea that you need to be thin in the first place is #tres problematic. But let's leave the weight loss bit aside for a second and talk about these supplements that, on the surface, seem a little bit more acceptable-- things like fiber supplements, various vitamins, those weird, inexplicable bears that are supposed to make your hair more lush.

There are even supplements out there now trying to make the act of having regular bowel movements be something chic, sexy, and perfectly in line with your all-white Scandinavian furniture-- a disaster waiting to happen. One such fiber supplement runs $20 for 14 packets-- or, if you're doing the math at home, $1.43 per packet. Now, I'm actually not here to tell you that fiber isn't good for you.

You should be getting it-- perhaps even sometimes in supplement form. But if this were something that you were just to buy at a local store, it's very likely that you would be getting a much better price per serving, because you wouldn't have to build in the cost of marketing by a chic, aspirational Instagram model. But when we look at some of the more, let's call them goop-adjacent supplements-- powders and oils and elixirs that are supposed to essentially transform your body and your life just by simply buying the right combination of capsules-- we start to see that what you're often buying with these supplements is an image, more than any actual FDA approved results. goop's entire business model is that with the right amount of money and the appropriately curated products, you can buy your way into being Gwyneth Paltrow, for example.

But one of the most important things to remember is that outside of certain specific cases, if you are getting a well-rounded diet that is meeting all of your nutritional needs, taking additional supplements on top of your diet is at best unnecessary, and at worst potentially harmful. If you're ever wondering that you may be suffering from a certain deficiency or could benefit from a certain product, that's a conversation you should have with your doctor. And if it is decided you need to be taking a certain vitamin or supplement, the goal should be to find that item at the best possible price.

The last place you should be going to radically change what you're putting in your body is Instagram. Number 2 is bougie pet products. Now, I must be honest here that I would be a liar if I said I didn't sometimes get suckered in by these.

I love my dog, and like any Millennial, she is my child substitute, so what else am I going to spend my New York City money on? But one thing that is absolutely certain about pets is they do not know the difference between a really fancy version of an item and a really crappy, generic version of an item. Yes, of course, when it comes to things like their food you should be making sure that they're eating well.

But when it comes to, for example, how fancy their bed is, you can opt for the $300 Tempur-Pedic version of the bed, and it's likely that your dog will just opt to sleep on a pile of dirty laundry. And when it comes to pet food, there is all kinds of conflicting ideas out there about what you should or should not be feeding your dogs. Friend of TFD, Amanda Mull, recently did a write-up on the entire phenomenon of grain-free pet foods, which is now coming into question as unilaterally the best choice to be feeding your animals.

But there are also influencers who will advocate for a vegan animal diet, an all raw food animal diet, or very specific, very expensive brands. And there are also highly curated pet food suppliers that essentially function as a kind of Blue Apron for your animal, bringing them a nightly curated menu of, frankly, nicer meals than most of us are probably eating. At the end of the day, using tools like Dog Food Advisor to get insights about what you should be feeding your animal is a good place to start, and beyond that, it should be about finding something that meets nutritional and ethical standards, but also is affordable and something that you can easily integrate into your life and your budget.

At the end of the day, your animal cares that they are loved, safe, healthy, and getting to spend lots of time with you. The rest is just window dressing. Number 3, a personal call-out-- kitchen tools that are more expensive than necessary.

Remember all of those late night infomercials that used to sell these really unique, innovative, often kind of single-purpose kitchen tools that seemed so amazing, but you had to buy them at the low-low price of three installments of $19.99, that were likely to just end up sitting on your kitchen counter collecting dust? I certainly do. In fact, many a night I fell asleep watching television as a kid and was awoken to the dulcet tones of whoever that guy was who was always advertising that rotisserie toaster oven.

I don't know if anyone remembers what I'm talking about, but that guy was always on. And he was like, you can roast a chicken! You can roast a duck!

You can-- you can roast a lot of things. Anyway, I remember that guy. At the young, tender age I was I didn't have a credit card-- thank God-- couldn't buy one of those things.

But now I am an adult, and I have a credit card. And I don't have those late-night infomercials, but I do have Instagram, which is constantly beaming into my brain all of these fancy, aspirational, often not very multi-use kitchen tools. There's everything from Himalayan sea salt serving boards to marble knife blocks to Millennial pink saute pans which retail for $145.

There are zesters and peelers and blenders and everything in between, always giving that added layer of style and aspiration that makes you think not only do you need it for its functional purpose, but also to make you a better person in some way. But take it from me, someone who has wasted a considerable amount of money on kitchen tools, gadgets, and accessories she basically never ended up using-- you have to identify your need for a specific item at least three separate times before you can possibly justify buying it-- and let's be honest, three separate times in a pretty narrow window. That means three moments where you're like, damn, I wish I had this thing.

Because only then will you truly find that you actually end up using the item upon purchasing it. For me, that microplane-- I didn't end up getting a fancy one to be clear. I just bought it on the way home from the office one day at a Sur la Table.

But I actually do end up using that microplane quite a lot, because often I make dishes with microplane cheese on them. And every time I would want to microplane that cheese and get that restaurant experience that I was so coveting, I would have to use my regular grater. Just wasn't the same.

It wasn't that pillow cloud of Parmesan effect that I was coveting. However, there are many other kitchen gadgets that are extremely aspirational, but I know that I would never use. KitchenAid stand mixers are glorious looking, and feel so fancy and adult and complete.

But I don't bake. It's not my journey, no matter how many times the Williams Sonoma Instagram account tries to sell me on one. Back, you devil.

Interesting update from our camera person, my colleague Holly. She says that she bakes all the time-- which is true. You can check out her Instagram-- and almost never uses her KitchenAid stand mixer.

But it does look very good in her kitchen. Every time I go over there, I'm like, that's a nice stand mixer. Number 4 is subscription services for stuff you can buy yourself.

Now, listen, we all love a good subscription box. It's like a tiny, little Christmas you give to yourself once a month. And some of them can genuinely be useful, or provide you access to a kind of product that you wouldn't otherwise necessarily buy.

Or maybe it allows you to support a specific industry or company that you really want to support. But some of them, frankly, seem totally unnecessary, because they're not really curating anything that you couldn't buy yourself. And even amongst the subscription services that are curating something for you that you couldn't necessarily pick out for yourself, it's important to remember that you have to be 100% certain about the value that you are getting out of this item on a yearly cost basis, because it's very easy, if the monthly subscription is only $10 or $20, to feel like it's a pretty negligible amount that you don't really see either way.

But tally that up on a year-long basis. You're talking about potentially hundreds of dollars being spent on something that you're either really not getting much use out of, or not enjoying, or could honestly just skip altogether and buy the product at a much cheaper price at a local store. Making sure that you judge the value of these purchases on a yearly basis, and that you only sign up for them because you find yourself actively wanting the product, or actively wanting to support the industry or organization, is extremely important, not allowing them to just be something you sign up for on a whim on your Instagram feed because that monthly fee seems so low.

A good example of a subscription box that might be worth it is one that offers access to something like sustainably-raised meat or fish. But that should be a household decision made on a yearly grocery budget, not something you do on a whim. Number 5 is luxury bedsheets and optimized furniture.

Now, I really don't know what happened over the past couple of years, but all of a sudden we decided that we all needed to have these fancy, overpriced, slickly-marketed, direct-to-consumer, Instagram-heavy luxury bedsheets in order to give ourselves the lives we deserve. And listen, I'm no fool-- spending on your sleep hygiene, spending on what comes between you and the floor, as they say, and where you're also spending an enormous amount of your time every day-- i.e. your bed-- is a good thing to do. Investing in a quality mattress, a good bed frame, the bed that's the right size and shape for you, as well as nice sheets that are cotton, breathable, a good material-- you don't want those horrible polyester sheets-- these are all good decisions.

But nice sheets don't always necessarily entail extremely expensive sheets. And some of these sets can easily retail for $120 or more. And no matter how catchy and cute the advertisements are, you simply don't need to spend that much to get good sheets.

In fact, TFD put together a whole guide on getting nice, budget-friendly sheets. But one other home goods arms race that Instagram has inexplicably entered into is the need for modular furniture that no one asked for. I think partially because it's very difficult to stand out in the home goods market on a place as saturated as Instagram, furniture companies often feel, on this platform, like they need to have some kind of a gimmick in order to get people's interest.

We recently stumbled across an ad for something called moon pods, which are essentially $300 beanbags with, I guess, a chic Instagram seal of approval. They're advertised as a kind of re-engineered bean bag that allegedly alleviate anxiety-- citation needed. But frankly, how many of us are truly in a place where all of our home furniture needs are so met at such a high level that we really should be spending an extra $300 on, again, a beanbag?

But listen, I understand. I've seen those advertisements on Instagram for the table that turns into four different kinds of tables, or the couch you can expand, or the chair that unfolds into a bed, and the gimmick is sometimes really effective, as are the little demonstration videos with the extremely aesthetically appealing people. But ultimately, one of the ways in which Instagram most functions like an infomercial is that they're just trying to get your attention with those flashy gimmicks.

Focus on what you really need-- the fundamentals. Lastly, number 6, my nemesis-- high-end athleisure and workout gear. It's not even worth it to start listing the insane amount of brands which have cropped up on Instagram over the past several years to tell us in various ways why we need to be buying $100 yoga pants.

Suffice to say this is a true cottage industry. And yes, I'm sure for some of us who are either extremely into workouts and spend a huge amount of time in these clothes, or to people who genuinely feel that having really nice, beautiful, aesthetically pleasing workout gear is going to make them work out more, fine. If you want to make room for that in your budget, go ahead.

But in the insidious way that Instagram often conflates buying the thing with doing the thing, we are constantly convinced that simply by owning some of these clothes, we will magically start to become the kind of person who works out all the time. And I will say, personally, that since "quar" began, I work out now much more than I ever have in the past, and I actually am less interested in how cute my workout clothes are. Yes, of course, that's because I'm not really interacting with other human beings, but it's also because I'm just most interested in whatever is most comfortable.

And honestly, life is difficult enough. I don't want to feel like I have to go through the trouble of coordinating a whole look just so I can drench it in sweat. As I mentioned on the TFD channel before, the unsung hero of the cute but totally budget-friendly workout gear is Old Navy.

Other than that, remember that just because you have the clothes doesn't mean you will have the body that you see in those clothes, or work out to the extent that you see those models in those clothes working out. They're selling you an image and a lifestyle, and ultimately aspiration, but that is not the same thing as being fit. And to accomplish the latter, you don't need the former.

As always, guys, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Goodbye!