Social media influences your spending habits. I’m sure this isn’t breaking news to you but do you know to what degree your wallet is impacted by targeted advertising and influencer marketing? The ability to know what products and services are worth spending your dollars on is a huge benefit of social media. See a new protein powder you want to try but you’re not sure if you want to invest in the larger tub? Never fear, just Google the product and you’re likely to see an array of sponsored reviews breaking down the product you want to try. However, the access to a virtually endless amount of these reviews is negatively impacting your spending habits and could be compromising your financial stability. Let’s break down just how social media influences your spending habits.
How social media affects our spending habits
Navigating a relationship with social media and spending habits is a tricky thing. After just seconds on a social media platform you’re bombarded with advertisements from companies or via influencers. It can sometimes be difficult to identify what is and what is not an advertisement because of the relationship between brands and influencers. Knowing how social media and our spending habits coexist is a large part of the battle. Here are five ways our spending habits are affected by social media.
1. Fear of missing out (FOMO)
When you view the world through social media’s lens it can feel like everyone is wearing the most expensive activewear brands, driving the nicest cars, and winning and dining on a regular basis. Remember, social media is a highlight reel.
2. Targeted ads
You know exactly what I’m talking about. You googled a specific pair of sunglasses on one device and now you’ll see Facebook ads for said brand every time you log in for a month straight. Brands wouldn’t pay for this ad space if they weren’t earning a return on their investment. I’m sure you aren’t surprised that targeted marketing can influence your spending habits. The key here is to be aware of this strategy and ensure you’re sticking to your budget anyway.
3. The selling of your data
It’s not enough that you’ll see advertisements for those sunglasses for a couple of weeks. When your data is sold you’ll also see advertisements for products others have purchased with browsing and buying history similar to yours. Your search for a new pair of sunglasses might turn into you buying a hat, sunglasses, and a new koozie for the pool.
4. Monopoly money
When you can click a targeted ad and purchase a new product within seconds the value of your dollar doesn’t carry the same weight as it does spent in person. I know this might come across like a parent scolding you but the psychology here tracks. When money doesn’t feel real we spend more of it.
Again, at the risk of sounding like an old woman, there are people who are compensated exclusively by their brand partnerships. You might follow an influencer on social media because you like the content they produce, which is wonderful. However, be aware that the ad dollars are likely what’s funding their lifestyle.
How to enjoy social media without spending a fortune
For most people, the crush of social media images of perfect lives, expensive items and excess, along with targeted and sophisticated advertising, is almost too much to bear. It’s easy to fall prey to the pressure but hugely detrimental to your finances. However, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that you can’t be on social media without overspending. Here are four things you can to do protect your finances:
1. Limit your screen time
Time on social media is tied to the amount of spending so reducing your time online will reduce your exposure and the likelihood of overspending. Set a timer or only peruse during certain times of the day. Your moral fiber tends to deteriorate as the day goes on. Late night scrolling is the most dangerous for this reason.
2. Create a budget if you don’t already have one
Having a budget and knowing how much you can spend on discretionary items will help you stay within bounds. Don’t have a budget? We can help. Our Ideal Budget can help you get started on how much to spend and the best categories for tracking spending. You can also leverage apps to help monitor your spending and set up alerts to help keep you accountable to your spending plan and goals.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
This is a tough one but it can be done. Look inside and realize your own value. You don’t need what others have to make you happy and I can promise it doesn’t work. Money and the things it buys don’t bring you happiness.
4. Adjust what you look at
Change who you follow or modify your feeds to bring you information that fits your hobbies or interests, or things that make you happy. If you like to hike, follow hikers or if you want to learn about money, follow money sites like Pete the Planner. Most of all, follow what brings you joy instead of sites that make you feel like you’re missing out.
Let Our Team Help
In a digital age it can feel impossible to keep your spending under control when it seems as though you’re the only one adhering to any level of a budget. Remember, social media is a highlight reel and you are the driving force behind your level of financial stability. The Your Money Line team is here to help your employees navigate their spending plans and keep their spending in check. Contact us so we can tell you more about how we can help.