An article in the November 2015 issue of Canadian Living caught my eye. The article entitled Keeping up with the Instagrammers (available online under the title “does social media make you spend more” http://www.canadianliving.com/life/money/does_social_media_make_you_spend_more.php) describes the effect social media can have your personal finances.
According to a recent study by PR firm Citizen Relations, quoted in the article, 56 percent of Canadian millennials “feel driven to live beyond their means because of social media” Seeing pictures of friends’ vacations, new cars or other major purchases drives a sense of competition or feelings of inadequacy. What is missing from these pictures is often the cost of such things. A TO financial planner quoted throughout the article has even gone so far as to post her receipts on Instagram to show what that fabulous restaurant meal, or shopping spree actually cost.
One of the overspending triggers identified in the article are blogs, it is not just what your friends have that you covet but also products that bloggers you follow are promoted. I admit that I sometimes feel tempted by this. I tend to feel a connection to the bloggers I follow and when they post about an amazing new product I cannot help but think do I need this too?
Another trigger are emails or social media posts from retailers regarding sales or promotions. You may not NEED anything from a particular store but may be tempted by the 40% coupon which just arrived in your inbox.
In light of the holiday season I found the article very interesting and it has made me stop and think about the impact social media has on my spending habits.