Debt Due to Social Media?

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It’s almost impossible to scroll through Instagram (or any other social media platform) and not be flooded with post after post showing you everything you’re missing – the newest styles, hottest places to go, best places to eat, etc. It’s not just the ads that pop up on your feed, it’s the people you follow – past high school and college friends, bloggers, and influencers – all causing this ultra-fabricated world, which in turn somehow has a negative effect on your bank account. But how?

FOMO (fear of missing out). 
Forty-nine percent of millennials (ages 23 to 38) say social media has influenced them to spend money on experiences, according to Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Survey. Forty-eight percent of those say they’ve overspent when with friends, whether it’s dining out or going on group vacations (CNBC). Fortunately, there are ways to combat your spending habits.

Give yourself a reality check.
The things you see on social media are usually the smallest pieces of the person’s life – an extravagant trip, a fancy brunch, or the ability to never repeat an outfit. They don’t show you what their bank accounts look like. For all you know, they could be drowning in $8,000 credit card debt by trying to live a lifestyle they cannot afford.

Decide what’s important to you.
To help you avoid FOMO, figure out what is more important to you. What experiences do you want to have? Where do you want to travel? Set your own travel and lifestyle goals so that when you do see photos of others on social media, you know that you’re saving up for your own goals.

Save before you splurge.
There’s nothing wrong with splurging on yourself once in a while. But, it’s much better to save first, so you aren’t taking on unnecessary debt in the process. A good way to do this is to open a new bank account for discretionary purchases only. 

Add positivity to your feed(s).
Following accounts and hashtags like #financialfreedom and #moneymotivation can turn your feed into feelings of positivity, as opposed to a feed that will make you feel like you will never catch up. Remember, your happiness is much more important than your social media.  

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay, and it all comes down to how you use it. Make sure you don’t get roped into reckless spending, so that you can enjoy social media without doing a number on your wallet.
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