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In this episode, Chelsea does something a little different and takes us on a lighthearted tour of her early years using Instagram — including some (thankfully well-documented) embarrassing wastes of money. Follow her on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/faganchelsea/?hl=en

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

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CHELSEA: Hello, everyone. It's Chelsea. And before we get into this week's video, I wanted to let you guys know about an exciting new thing we're doing at TFD. It's called the studio at TFD, and it is a series of digital workshops around all sorts of topics, from money management, to mental health, to organization, to entrepreneurship, and everything in between.

We've got several amazing events coming up, and you can find out more about all of them at thefinancialdiet.com/studio. See you guys there. Hey guys, it's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

And this week's video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. And today I wanted to do something totally fun, not really related to personal finance, not really related to anything serious or all that useful. But you know, it's summer, it's hot, we're really not doing a whole lot socially, we're all probably pretty bored, so I figured it'd be a nice opportunity to do something a little fun, and maybe hopefully a little humorous.

If you guys know me on social media, if you follow me, you're probably familiar with my Instagram account where people are constantly saying really, really nice things to me, which I so appreciate. Everyone is super kind when I post a picture of like, a meal I made, or a part of my home. I always get such a nice kind of outpouring of compliments and questions.

And listen, I mean, why do we all use social media-- for affirmation. So I love that affirmation, and it feels really good to be able to share that part of my life with you guys. But I also get from people this kind of perception that I'm, you know, perfectly composed, which is very much not the case.

Or that I'm always doing things that sort of come out perfectly, and that's also very much not the case. I'm pretty critical of myself. I would say outside of even just having anxiety, which I very much have and go to therapy, for I also just tend to be a person who's pretty self-critical and doesn't give herself a lot of credit.

I'm constantly thinking about what I could be doing better, or differently, and not really focusing as much on what I'm doing well now, or how far I've come in a lot of ways. So I thought it would be kind of funny in the interest of looking back at money that wasn't well spent, energy that wasn't well spent, and ways in which I have, let's just say, "glowed up," over the years to take a bit of a cringe-worthy tour through my old Instagram. Now, for the record everyone, before you guys jump into the comments being like, love yourself, don't be hard on yourself, I actually feel very charmed looking at all those old pictures.

It doesn't feel to me like a negative thing, because I see how happy and proud I was of things, that looking back, were a little bit janky, and I feel like that's so great for her, I love that. It's fun to look at these moments, even if they are a little bit silly. So it's all done in good fun, but it definitely has reminded me how much things have changed, and makes me feel a little bit more grateful for my choices and my life now, and keeps me humble-- keeps me close to the ground, as they say.

So without further ado, here is a quick cringe-worthy tour through some of my old Instragrams. By the way, these are in no specific order. I rounded up some ones that made me laugh for different reasons, but I don't know what order they're in, so we're just going to get the real reaction.

So first up is a photo of what appears to be a risotto, although, I really know that until I read the caption. But basically, I think one thing that I've learned, I actually find it really charming when people post struggle food porn. Like I have one girl on my feed that I actually know from high school, who consistently posts photos of food that she makes, that I'm sure tastes good, but the photos themselves are just so unappetizing.

And if any of you guys remember when Martha Stewart used to post on Instagram, and she would post the most disgusting looking food. She would take a picture of lobster bisque in a dark room using the flash feature on her phone, which is just never going to get you a good shot. But I will say, I definitely think my cooking skills have improved considerably in the past six years, but what has even more improved is my photograph food.

And I feel like a few key elements of food photography is like, you need to make sure there's good light, the photo needs to be nice and clear, you need to make sure it's discernible what the food is-- like there needs to be context. Like, is this just a bowl of various mushy textures? So I feel like that is something I look back on and I'm like, wow, I've really I've really improved my food photography skills in a short period of time, relatively.

Lauren Verhague liked this, though. I think Lauren Verhague liked every single photo that we're going to be discussing today, which I have to say that is true friendship, liking the struggle and liking the success. Next up, honestly this photo is like not even that much of a struggle, in the sense that that manicure is cute, hand looks cute.

I managed to like set up a nice little setup with the postcard underneath that sort of echoes the colors in my nails, but this is a struggle for the simple fact that I used to spend an absurd amount of money on elaborate gel manicures. Like with tax and tip, this manicure probably cost me $75 here in New York City. Not worth it.

Not worth it. And also, gel manicures, doing so many of them, over the first two years that I lived in New York and became obsessed with them-- in addition to costing me thousands and thousands of dollars that I totally regret, also destroyed my nails. It took me years for the nails to get back to the quality that they were before I destroyed them with gel manicures.

So big old fail on that front. But this picture goes to show that while some of the manicures, despite being a mistake for a lot of other reasons, were cute in their own right. Like, some of them were not cute.

I don't know why I got like Illuminati gem stones-- Adam Sandler uncut gems manicure. It's like, this is just not my vibe. Even back then, I did not have the vibe of the girl who should have black nails with gold glitter and gold diamonds on them.

It's just-- I don't know if it's like a mob wife-- or like what I was thinking with that. So in addition to being an incredible financial fail, some of them were also aesthetic fails, let's be clear. OK, so some of this food looks good, but I just want to say to all of the people who are like, every time I say in any context that I don't bake, I can't bake, people are always like yes, you can.

Anyone can bake, just try. I do try, and what happens is this tart, which, I don't even think looks like it possibly could have tasted good. But it was like just multiple different cardboards of various wetness on top of each other, like that dough was inedible.

I did not put any sugar on the pears. Have you guys ever had those dried fruit chips, that are just dehydrated fruit? Like that was basically the texture of the fruit, and then I just threw cinnamon on top of it.

It was inedible. And shout out to my husband, because he struggled through a piece of that pear galette, even know it was an utter, utter fail. Pasta and tomato salad look pretty good, though, so shout out to that.

I have learned a lot in my life about what I can and cannot do, and one of those things that I cannot do in addition to baking, is carving pumpkins. As you can see, my husband actually kind of is a good pumpkin carver, like he made a pretty credible face on that pumpkin. Someone in the comments of this points out my attempt to write "boo" on my pumpkin.

It actually just looks like the number 600. But it's just because I don't have very good manual dexterity, I don't have patience, which is like the number one skill you need to successfully carve a pumpkin. But I feel like it's just important in life to come to terms with what you are good at, what you're not good at, and don't try to force yourself to do things you're not good at.

So since then, we get pumpkins, we put them in little clusters, decorative gourd season mother fucker, as that famous article says. And I don't take a knife to any of them, because that's just not my journey. I just would like to say, that I feel like as a society, there was a time period before we really understood how the internet worked so well, that we felt really comfortable just taking pictures of strangers and putting it on our own social media.

This is horrible, but I just thought that dad was hot, so I took a picture of him and put it on my Instagram, which is really not cool. Like I'm all for objectifying men, but not like that. This man did not consent to be my thirst trap.

Inapprope. We have to be respectful of people on the internet. If you ever post a picture of someone on the internet, blur out their face, or use an emoji over it.

The struggle. Let us count the layer cake struggle going on here. It's totally blueberry, check, appears warm too, not even Stoli Blueberry.

Andy Capp's Hot Fries, check, now listen, I still love Andy Capp's Hot Fries, but I'm not going to Instagram a picture of them next time to a whole bottle, an entire bottle of Stoli Blueberry. What a food combo. Also, this was the era of the internet where everyone was using those really, really tragic .

Instagram filters I don't think anyone ever still uses the Instagram based filters. I feel like most people use third parties or go au natural with their Instagram photos now, but this is back and like that really sort of faux film camera era. It even has like the little border.

Also, in front of a bunch of knives, I feel like you know one needs to be photographing a full bottle of vodka next to a bunch of knives. So, not the best choice. Of my blurry photo eras, I feel like we were all very comfortable back in 2013 2014 with posting photos to our Instagrams that were so blurry or dark that you could barely see what was happening in them.

I have a whole lot of those photos. And actually, this particular example, features my now business partner. So we've come a long way, seven years later almost, and we're not posting blurry photos with alcohol in them, and we own a whole ask business.

Good for us. OK, I would like to talk about two things in this photo. Number one, till the day I die, Mark will never stop making fun of me for the color that I initially painted our living room wall when we first moved to Brooklyn.

I actually don't remember the name of the color, but I'm pretty sure it was like sour apple. This is literally the least flattering, most heinous color you could possibly paint a wall. And I'll never forget, three brush strokes into it, I was like, this seems like a mistake, but I had already spent the money on the paint so I was like, I guess I'll just live with this.

We lived in a railroad style one bedroom, so that was like the main wall of the house. Like it was definitely not an accent wall, it was like you're living inside a piece of Laffy Taffy, basically. It was the most heinous color.

Also, I really have come a long way in terms of my floral arrangements, not loving those flowers. This is actually also-- I used to wear just princess clothes, like I love to dress like a human American Girl Doll. I was always wearing just petticoats.

I don't know why. So that was also just an aesthetic moment that I'm glad to have graduated from. Also, lastly, if we could note the turkey napkins that have made their way into the serious decor, despite having been a result of Mark being asked to go to the store and get napkins for a dinner, and he brought home these napkins that have literal turkeys on them.

The turkens-- the turkens, as they will forever be called. I just want to share this photo because I've talked so much on this channel about my robin's egg blue, fox fur collar coat that costs like $700, that I wore like three times. I actually somehow have evidence on my Instagram of having worn that.

But I do think that that was maybe the single worst item I've ever purchased in terms of return on investment. Also, this is a bit of a digression, but one time in a video when I mentioned that this was a robin egg blue, fox fur collar, wool coat, someone, some pretentious so and so in the comments was like, it's pronounced faux, honey. First of all lady, I'm literally bilingual in French.

I know how faux is pronounced. Second of all, it is literally fox fur, the animal fox. They killed a Fox to make that coat.

Third of all, do not come for me. This is my house. How dare you?

Hair looked good, though. Hair looked good. This is the perfect example on Instagram of how we used to just pose like pitch black photos, completely blurry photos, that are completely indiscernible, and then on top of them, slap a filter that makes them even more impossible to see, and even blurrier.

This one also has one of those like faux borders around it too. But note that this is a picture of three martinis. You can only tell if the luminosity on your device is turned all the way up.

But somehow this warranted a spot on the grid. We were just really posting any old thing on Instgram back in the day. This is literally a picture of a bottle of soap in my shower.

Why? What was Chelsea doing here? We're going to call this my attempt to get artistic.

I really thought I did something here. This looks like a 4-year-old would do and you would congratulate them for. Oh man, has there ever been a more tragic Instagram photo than, I guess at the time, 25-year-old screen capping themselves, listening to Bubble Butt by Major Lazer-- and putting that on the grid.

To just give you, I guess, a peek into where I was at that time. Honestly though, listen, I have been to multiple Major Lazer concerts. They were great.

I still listen to Major Lazer sometimes. Listen, we all have a darkness within us. Another thing that somehow ended up on the grid-- I should note that a lot of these photos were pre stories existing, where you could post like your kind of aesthetically strange images that also kind of shared an insight into your life.

You had to go on the grid at this point. But this is literally a pile of dirt covered snow on New York City streets. I guess just showing what life is like in the Big Apple, baby.

It's the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, and it is full of massive piles of snow covered in dirt. This is another one that is not in and of itself a cringe worthy photo, but definitely illustrates a misguided money spend for me. I used to buy things because I thought I like the way these look as an object.

In this case, I thought these were really cute. I liked the criss-cross straps with the flowers. They looked fun and summer, and I thought that would be a really nice look.

Unfortunately, I knew even while trying them on, that I could walk like 30 feet in these shoes. They truly just cut the shit out of my-- like physically cut them-- I don't even know how a pair of shoes could slice into skin, but these did. I'm not lying or exaggerating when I say that I wore these shoes zero times.

But they did manage to get a spot on the grid in 2014. Honestly, this makes me like-- Lauren dragging me behind the camera. She just goes, what is that?

So I created myself a little mood board, and I put it together with the photos of stuff that I liked, and I don't think the photos are bad or anything, but what I did was I made it out of tape, and it was clearly very shoddily put together. As much as I feel that I do have some creative inclinations in life, I'm very bad at things that I would describe as crafts or artistic. I cannot draw.

I cannot paint. I can paint a wall, but I can't paint a painting. Like anytime that I'm having to like assemble something in a craft sense, it looks just incredibly janky.

The way the tape was taped out on this on the corners, I tried to make like sort of a push-pen effect, but the way the tape was actually taped out, once again, looks like something a literal child would have made. And you would have been like, that's amazing sweetie, but like clearly put it up because a child made it, except I was a 25-year-old. I also apparently liked this myself, which is deranged.

This is a fun snapshot from the era of my life when I was Vegan Till 6, and constantly eating things such as vegan oatmeal creme pies, and vegan large lattes, and wondering why it was not resulting in weight loss. And lastly, we have just an era of decor that I'm very glad to have graduated from, which is repurposing alcohol bottles to be other things. Like very occasionally if you like get a really special alcohol from something, you know, like on a trip or something, and there's a beautiful bottle-- actually those tequila bottles that are like really expensive, like $150, and they're those big sort of, almost like obelisks, not obelisks, but do you know what I'm talking about?

They're like blue and white. They look like ceramic. But anyway, there are certain ones that are almost works of art, and like sure, fine, whatever, keep these.

But this is a random shitty vodka brand, that just I drank the vodka, and then proceeded to use that bottle as decor to store what appears to be like, a very janky looking fake flowers. But in any sense, I just think, not so elegant to use just call liquor bottles as part of your decor. That's very fratty.

Anyway, clearly have evolved. Lauren did like that picture, though, so, truly had my back at all stages of life. In any case, I sometimes think that it's nice to look back at what you were doing a few years ago to feel more appreciative and less critical of the things that you're doing now.

And of course, it should be done in jest. I feel nothing but charmed when I look at this stuff. But it is fun to do, and I highly recommend you do it yourself with either some social media you have, or reading old writing, or looking at old work that you did in a specific hobby before you got better at it.

Just remember where you came from because it makes it so much easier on the person you are today, and where that person happens to be. And if you are ready for the final stage of that glow up, and want to start investing, check out Fidelity Investments. As I mentioned, this video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

They are here to help you reach your savings goals. And if you're looking for an easy way to finally start investing what you save, check out Fidelity. 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. Bye.