Of course, now it’s the hard part. Now you have to train yourself to save money. It should be easy, except there’s one problem: Social Media.
Why is social media a problem for all the money savers in the world?
Let’s take a look:
The Comparison Trap
The last time I looked at social media, I saw a picture of a 25 year old showing of his brand new sports car. He is barely out of school and is driving this incredibly expensive and swanky vehicle. Now, even though I know it’s smarter to save than to splurge, I can’t help but feel a little twinge of jealousy. “When is it my turn to drive a new car? Why do I always have to be so darn practical?” I quietly ask myself.
The comparisons that flood Facebook every single day can unhinge us and push us off of our savings track with one simple post. It’s hard to avoid it because the entire site is littered with them. The best you can do is identify which of your acquaintances consistently posts about his or her possessions and try to block them from your feed.
Social media used to be somewhat safe from ads or at least you could ignore the ones that appear off to the sides. Now, they litter Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook newsfeed. You can’t get away from them. They are always blinking and showing you products that you want but shouldn’t have.
And, lest you even think about looking up a product you might want to buy someday, the cookies on your computer will track your searches and tailor your social media ads to those desires. Trust me; I know. They’ve been showing me this one pair of shoes I’ve been avoiding for weeks! Talk about pressure! And it’s just an ad!
Not only does the content on social media affect our spending patterns but it affects our time to. Social media is so easy to get sucked into for hours. I personally check my Facebook 5-10 times a day. Often I tell myself it’s for my business, but I tend to check my newsfeed in addition to updating my business page.
If we all tracked the time we spent on social media, we’d all probably be pretty surprised at the time wasted. That’s time we could have spent working an extra job to build up savings or developing a little side business.
Ultimately, while I am a big fan of social media because it allows me to stay connected and promote my business, I also acknowledge that it can definitely be a very negative trigger in your life if you spend too much time on it. If you are a saver or you want to start saving money, practice spending some time away from it all. You’ll notice that you’re less likely to want certain products and less likely to compare yourself to others too!
Do you spend a lot of time on social media? Do you find that it affects your spending patterns?- Catherine Alford