Sometimes it’s hard not to get sucked into your screen. One day you’re scanning posts on your favorite social media site, and you see something that gives you the itch to reach for your wallet. It’s easy for social media to captivate us with dream-like images, whether it’s a picture of a sandy beach in Bora Bora or the newest workout program that promises to deliver over-the-top results.
The social media trap is tough to avoid. One study found that social media made 90% of respondents feel inadequate. Feelings of envy can occur when it “appears” someone is living a better life than the rest of us.
However, sometimes those feelings make us spend more than we should. Studies based on groups of 1,000 Facebook users discovered that those who spent more time on the app had lower credit scores and more debt than those who didn’t engage as much.
Here are seven ways to avoid the appeal of social media and focus on your own spending goals.
1. Wait Before Spending on Social Media
Sure, a new wardrobe for the new year sounds amazing but does it make sense? Do you really need more sneakers or another top? Sometimes, it’s better to evaluate a purchase before buying on impulse. Some financial experts suggest taking a 24-hour break before purchasing something. If you saw your friend on social media having fun at a concert and now, you’re getting the urge to buy tickets, ask yourself if it’s actually for the concert or just for the pictures you’ll post.
2. Get Real about Social Media
While social media can be negative sometimes, it can also be a positive for your financial journey. If you’re only seeing flashy trends on your feed and nothing that helps you live a better life, it may be time to start following people that make you think more positively about money.
Check out our blog or social media if you need some tips on mortgage loans, car shopping, or credit card spending. We’re money positive!
3. Limit Your Time Scrolling
Yes, it’s difficult to stop your wandering mind from picking up your phone and scrolling through your newsfeed, but sometimes, enough is enough. A study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that only 30 minutes a day are needed to get the maximum benefits from social media.
If you routinely keep scrolling longer than that, it may be time to assess your habits. The longer you spend on a platform, the more likely you will become envious of others and succumb to impulse buys.
4. Talk More About Money with Those Around You
Many people are not ready to talk about their budget or saving habits, even though it’s important. So, find yourself a circle that does! Connect with people prepared to talk about their money-saving tips or future financial goals.
They say, “you are who you know,” so make sure your friends are savvy about spending money too. Social media may make it seem like your family or friends have figured it all out, but most of them are as confused as you are!
5. Make a Budget and Stick with It
If something on social media looks fun and is in your budget and you’ve thought it through, go right ahead! Having a budget beforehand gives you the freedom of assigning some fun monthly purchases. Whether it is $10 or $50, set aside some money for something you might not necessarily need but will make you happy for a long time.
6. Do Some Research Before Buying on Social Media
Some brands like to advertise on social media as “eco-friendly” or “made in the USA,” but it’s not always accurate. You may learn that they design the product here but create it somewhere else or don’t do anything that makes a product better for the environment. Do your research before buying something so you don’t get duped into spending your cash on items that are not up to your standards.
7. Don’t Give All Your Money Away
Sometimes, it’s hard to turn away friends on social media that are raising money to start a business or need a donation. However, no matter how much your kind heart would love to give, sometimes it’s not practical if it’s not in your budget. To stop so many “crowdfunding” pleas, only keep friends on social media that you engage with in real life. And if you do happen to have some extra cash, you can spend it on people you truly care about.
This year, remember not to let the temptations presented by social media get the best of you. Stick to a budget and live by it. And if you’re looking for a way to rebuild your credit or pay off debt, our Great Rate card may be for you! This credit card works for you with a 1.99% introductory APR* on balance transfers for the first 60 days of activation. There is no annual fee or fees on balance transfers, along with those savings. Shop smart with your spending money, and you’ll be good to go!
*For complete terms and conditions, visit ffcommunity.com/visa-credit-cards