The FINANCIAL -- Social scrolling is not only draining young Brits time, but also leaving a dent in their pockets according to new research from Barclays.
With the average 15 – 24-year-old now checking their social media accounts an incredible 30 times a day, the research revealed that temptation is taking its toll. Over half (53 per cent) of young people admitted that their bank balances would be in better shape if they weren’t constantly exposed to the latest celebrity and fashion trends served up in their social feeds and a third (33 per cent) confessed they would prefer to spend less than they currently do.
Of the poll of 2,000 UK young adults, 51 per cent revealed they’ve bought items, gone on days out or visited places, from restaurants to holiday destinations, off the back of celebrities or influencers endorsing them on their feeds. This has led to a collective spend of £3billion a year (£398.76 each), with over a fifth admitting to sacrificing savings to fund their purchases.
However, whilst social media spending is on the increase, so is the demand for more advice and support on how to save money, with over half of those surveyed (52 per cent) saying that they would like to see this type of content on their news feeds.
To help consumers avoid the spending temptations of social media, Clare Francis and Jasmine Cecilia Jonas have compiled the following savings hacks:
Sleep on it
Almost 7 in 10 (68%) millennials admit to loving online shopping and a third (30%) said they regularly look at celebrity/ influencer accounts for shopping inspiration. However, instead of purchasing items on impulse, take a moment to consider whether you really need it. Whenever you feel the urge to buy something on social media, ask yourself, “Can I afford this right now?” Or, “Do I have other things that I need more?” If you really want something, sleep on it for a night. You may find it doesn’t seem as essential the next day!
Ditch the apps
If you want to steer clear of temptation, have you considered removing your shopping and social media apps from your phone? It’s amazing how much less attractive a ‘boredom browse’ becomes when you need to login through your browser.
Turn those notifications off
Turning those pesky notifications off should hopefully mean that you’re less likely to check social media, in turn saving you from being drawn into the cycle of scrolling and potentially buying.
Take a picture
If you’re saving for something specific like a holiday with friends or a deposit for a house, why not put a photo of your goal as the backdrop on your phone. Having this visual reminder will help motivate you to stick to your saving goals and not splash out on non-essentials.
Work out your priorities
If you are struggling to make ends meet at the end of each month, go back to basics and look at what you have coming in each month, and then take away what you need to cover any vital expenses like rent or mortgage payments, mobile phone contracts etc. This will give you a clear picture of what you’ve got ‘left over’ each month for your enjoyment, but also to put towards your future. Even putting aside just £5 each month into an ISA will build up to give you a nice savings buffer.
Divvy it up
It can be easy to ‘dip into’ the money you need for bills, or what you wanted to save that month when it all sits in one place. So why not split it up? You can set up a monthly standing order to redirect anything as small as £1 straight from your current account into a savings account on pay day, keeping that money safe from temptation.
Set a timer
Social media has many positive benefits such as keeping in touch with friends, and we all enjoy a bit of lifestyle inspiration. But, if you know you are guilty of ‘boredom browsing’ (and then buying), why not set a timer to keep your social sessions short and sharp.
Live by your means
It’s easy to get sucked into the glamorous lifestyles of influencers and celebrities on social media, and it’s natural to want to emulate them. The important thing though is to always live within your means. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy that new trendy item you wanted. Neither does it mean you can’t go on that exotic beach holiday. It just means don’t do it all at once, and make sure you have enough leftover in case of an emergency.
Find another distraction
43% of millennials admit that they couldn’t live without social media. However, many of us turn to social media and online shopping as a default entertainment when we’re bored. When you have the urge to scroll, why not put on a film – your bank balance will thank you!
Check out what you’ve already got
It’s so easy to get enticed by items we see online, especially clothes, when in fact we have a very similar - if not almost identical - item already hanging in our wardrobes. Fashion is so fast these days that it’s easy to forget about the hidden gems we already own.
Have a clear-out
If you’re guilty of regularly succumbing to the latest trend, soften the impact on the bank balance by having a clear-out at home and selling clothes you no longer wear or things around the house you don’t use – not only will it help clear space for your new purchases, you might also be surprised by the amount of money you make to pay for them. In turn this means you’ll have more money left at the end of the month to put into your savings account.