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How Instagram communities can help you save money and pay off your debts

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If you need motivation to save, earn, or to pay down debt, try searching for hashtags like #budgeting and #financialfreedom on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can find literally millions of posts from users who want to connect with others hoping to start a business, for example, or simply stick to a budget.

Supportive online communities anchored by financial hashtags aim to help users meet their financial goals. Vanessa, a 32-year-old from the Midwest, who prefers to go only by her first name, says her #debtfree journey began when she came across motivational posts on Instagram. Now, she says, "I kind of use Instagram as my accountability partner." Her online community inspired her to pay off nearly $20,000 worth of debt in a year.

Here's a round-up of five popular financial hashtags on Instagram and other social networks, and what you can expect to learn from each.

#Debtfree

The debt-free community attracts users like Vanessa who owe money on credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and/or car loans. Vanessa was so inspired by the #debtfree community on Instagram that she started her own account. Vanessa has posted about her financial victories and shared the cost-cutting strategies that helped her to pay off debt more quickly.

#Entrepreneur

The #Entrepreneur hashtag on Instagram brings together millions of users who share details of their business ventures and stories about their financial wins and losses. Users offer tips on how to grow your own business, the ins and outs of social media marketing, and how to provide top-notch customer service.

One recent post by the user @businessaims listed nine habits of business success, including getting enough sleep, staying active, and eating healthy.

#Couponcommunity

The #couponcommunity hashtag, which is included on over 4.8 million posts on Instagram, offers devotees and newbies alike a way to share details on how shoppers can score major savings. Postings often come complete with pictures of discounted hauls for extra motivation.

Some users take photos of useful manufacturer coupons for you to use, while others reveal opportunities for "double dipping," which is #couponcommunity-speak for matching coupons with current store sales to maximize overall savings.

#Financialfreedom

The #financialfreedom community caters to aspiring savers and investors, helping them establish a solid foundation to set themselves up for later in life. #Financialfreedom followers cheer one another on: They have created over 4.6 million posts on Instagram about the benefits of a written investment plan, for example, and strategies for mapping out your financial goals to achieve them faster. You can find useful information about how today's decisions could affect you tomorrow.

#Sidehustle

If you're looking to make money outside of your regular job, #Sidehustle could be a useful online community. You can find practical strategies and success stories to inspire you as you launch and maintain your own side hustle. If you've already started a part-time gig, you can connect with other users who offer support for business-related challenges.

One Instagram user, @haleys_hanger, gives her followers an in-depth look at the reality of having an online clothing store as a side hustle. She uses #sidehustle to share information about the newest items on sale at her store and is candid about what happens behind the scenes of a one-woman business.

Vanessa, too, has found that online communities give her strategies for dealing with the cost of debt. They provide a sense of connection, she says: "Seeing other people make progress and get out of debt, that gives me a lot of hope that I'm gonna get there someday if I keep going at it."

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