Picture Perfect

How to avoid overspending on Instagram

Instagram is a fun social network for sharing pictures with friends. It has also become an online shopping hub, and that can spell trouble for consumers. Like many online retailers, Instagram thrives by making the purchasing process easy. It’s up to you to put up barriers that make it more difficult, and thus avoid overspending.

According to a study from Chase bank, 77 percent of young people admitted to purchasing items specifically for the Instagram pic that would follow. That could be anything from food to clothing. The millennials surveyed also said they would pay an average of $137 on an item if it meant they would get “the perfect picture” for Instagram. It’s obvious Instagram has become a way for people — not just young people — to spend freely.

Before you click on an advertiser post, ask yourself about your motivation. Do you need this item? Or are you buying it simply because it might look good on Instagram? Knowing the motivation behind your purchase is a vital tool in your fight against overspending. Also, keep in mind that what you see on Instagram is not reality. No one is posting pictures of the bills they’re stacking up after all those purchases.

Another way Instagram gets you to spend is by making it easy. Posts from advertisers include links to purchase items right inside the pictures. If you find yourself bypassing the “question phase” we mentioned, it might be time to disconnect your credit cards from your phone. Spending is literally a few clicks away. Eliminating them means you’ll have to manually enter your credit card info for every purchase, which gives you a few more moments to reconsider.

If you do come across something on Instagram that you truly want or need, you should always shop around. There could be a better deal on the same item to be found on a seperate site. Remember, Instagram is for fun, not spending.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea