In this day and age, there’s no denying the reach of social media. So much so that according to a new report made by UniBank, it is already influencing the spending habits of students.

The report asked more than 1,200 students all over Australia and uncovered that 88% of them thought that social media had an impact on their expenditure.

The three primary areas where students felt they were being impacted was picking places to go out, such as restaurants, cafes and bars (64%), maintaining their “look” by spending on fashion and beauty (56%) or picking which festivals and events to get involved in (56%).

There were a number of reasons students felt that they had been influenced into spending, the big one, reported by 43% of students, was that they were simply swept up with the ease of buying products off sites like Facebook and Instagram. FOMO (fear of missing out) also played its part, with 23% feeling pressured to spend after seeing their friends at various festivals, restaurants and events.

While 79% of all students think of themselves to be at least, relatively financially shrewd, 28% of them don’t always guarantee they have the money in the budget before they purchase something from social media; getting caught up in the thrill of the sale and not consulting their bank account before clicking purchase.

When it comes to asking for timely financial advice, most of the students (62%) consulted with their friends or family first, with only 23% doing independent research.

All these financial mistakes are cause for concern for students, as 76% feel that they are at times or even always in the financial pressure cooker.

Tips to make sure your finances are in order

However, there are ways to help you elude these financial landmines and have all your personal finances in order. Here are four easy-to-do tips:

Have a budget

Having a budget is oftentimes the first tip you’ll hear for efficient spending. Actually monitoring and planning your spending helps you avoid accidentally spending more than you should and finding yourself with no money, or worse, drowning in debt.

Spend your own money

It can be alluring to purchase stuff, even when you don’t have the money for it, so try taking that invitation away. How? Try using a debit card, instead of getting a credit card as 19% of respondents say they do, means you only have access to your own money and not resources that you don’t have yet.

Clarify your banking set up

It’s most likely that you’re still making use of the same account that you signed up for when you were 7. So it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to know that there are better ones out there for you. As an example there’s a number of fee free bank accounts and savings accounts with high interest rates that are definitely worth checking out.

Be diligent in doing research

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re at least somewhat aware of your own finances, but independently comparing savings rates every so often to make sure you’re getting the right deal, or getting the right tips to help keep your money on track is a great move towards smart spending.

Improper spending habits can be doom your finances and can lead to trouble catching up with debt payments. One of the best ways to give you some breathing room is to simply contact your creditor. Here are some tips on how to go about that.

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