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Emily’s list: Pinterest edition

Emily Crone

While Pinterest.com was launched well over a year ago, it didn’t become mainstream until a few months ago. When it did, it caught on like wildfire, growing faster than any previous social network and delivering more traffic to companies than most other social networks combined. The Huffington Post article “Pinterest traffic growth soars to new heights” sums up the growth nicely.

For the uninitiated, Pinterest allows you to create collections (“boards”) of photos. You pick the topic for each board, and you can have as many or as few boards as you wish. While you can upload your own photo, that isn’t really the point. It’s meant for you to find pictures you like around the Web and “pin” them, which adds them to your board of your choice. You can also re-pin other peoples’ pins, which is equivalent to a Twitter retweet.

The beautiful thing about Pinterest is that it’s all visual. While you can write a brief caption for each image, it’s all about pinning photos that you like. It’s a refreshing break from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, where most people just post about themselves and what they’re up to. Pinterest doesn’t facilitate that. You don’t have a wall or status. It’s a place where you post about things that interest you and things that inspire you.Pinterest edition

This is where things get interesting: While many people use it to collect recipes or DIY craft ideas, the site is used by most people in a very aspirational way. Many users create boards with pictures of places they want to travel to one day. One of the other most-common themes I see is images of peoples’ future dream homes, some of which are excessively over-the-top (such as a huge whirlpool bathtub that fills from the ceiling and overlooks a private beach). It’s also common to see boards about fashion items or products that people want. Another common one is “dream wedding” boards.

Which leads me to wonder: Is Pinterest encouraging people to idealize a lifestyle that is impractical or unattainable? I worry that spending all of this time making boards of dream trips, dream homes, dream weddings, dream closets, etc., is going to make people want to spend money on things they don’t have more than ever or crave things that aren’t practical. It’s fun to have things to look forward to, but I worry that the aspirational use of Pinterest might cause some people to lose control of reality when it comes to spending. Though who knows. Maybe I’m just a paranoid personal finance writer! What do you think?

Keep reading for my top 10 favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week!

1. Young Family Finance lists five ways you can save money on your grocery bill.

2. A guest post on Young Cheap Living shares some inspiring reasons for being debt free, such as having better relationships and being able to donate money.

3. Did you receive a major tax refund? Per$onal Finance Journey discusses some of the wisest ways to use an unexpected windfall .

4. Smart Family Finance makes the case for why debt is not always a bad thing, and can actually be a good thing for some families.

5. Paying your bills on time can be harder than it sounds! 20s Finance offers several tips on how to make sure you pay your bills on time.

6. Finance Fox lists 10 signs that you need help with your money and should take action now.

7. Tackling Our Debt reveals many different ways to easily reduce your daily living expenses.

8. Modest Money discusses some of the most common credit card mistakes people make and jokes that the fees associated with these mistakes benefit the rest of us.

9. Money Infant lists five ways you can decrease your debt and boost your savings.

10. Christian PF provides readers with several strategies for how to save money for nearly anything.

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  • I totally agree with you, people use pinterest in an aspirational way. This is actually why travel blogs (especially those containing lots of great pictures) are very successful there. 🙂
    Steve