What does social media have to do with spending habits? More than you think. Over decades, we have integrated it into our lives: it is how we connect with people and organizations.
Consequently, companies have taken advantage of this and turned what used to be a networking tool into an easy way to advertise. The average American will spend more than $2,100 a year on impulse purchases (this is up 18% from pre-pandemic times). In addition, 40% of Americans admit to purchasing something under the social media influence.
You may follow certain celebrities or influencers on social media. As you’re scrolling through their stories, they often mention products that made their lives easier or “casually” mention clothes that they can’t live without; appropriately, they’ll provide special links or codes. Therefore, it’s incredibly easy to plunk that item in your cart, use Apple Pay, and you can relax while your item is on its way.
This seamless shopping experience has made it convenient to give in to impulse shopping. Moreover, with data mining and data analytics, if you search for a product, there will be no doubt that particular item or similar items will make their way onto your feed as an ad.
So how do you combat social media spending?
Make a Budget and Allow Yourself to Spend. This is crucial. Creating a budget not only makes us prioritize where our money goes, but it pushes us to be more conscious of our spending. In this process, we can allow “fun money” that permits us to make these purchases. Most importantly though, we must stick to it.
Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe from email lists or influencers. When you see “FLASH SALE!” “TODAY ONLY!” the sense of urgency is intentionally there to speak to our FOMO. We must realize that these “sales” may be too tempting for us, so clicking that unsubscribe or unfollow button might be necessary.Bonus: Your inbox will be less cluttered.
Don’t Compare Your Life to Everyone Else’s Highlight Reel. I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before. It’s a tough one, but remember, people tend to put their highlights on social media: the carefully curated, literally filtered snippets of their lives. We are consumers of that content, and we end up telling ourselves stories that we must be better. Be kind to yourself and focus on YOU and your goals.
The Takeaway. Most importantly, if we recognize the triggers that cause impulse spending, we can better control our urges.
Our BALANCE Financial Guide is dedicated to helping you balance life’s important decisions.