The Social Effect

How social media is hurting kids’ finances

You’ve heard that you shouldn’t be trying to keep up with the Joneses. Now we need to warn you about keeping up with social media. According to a new report, young people feel pressured to overspend because of social media apps and sites like Instagram and Facebook. Kids see their friends’ filtered lives and things and they want it all.

The study from the Schwab Center for Financial Research found 49 percent of millennials and 44 percent of the younger Generation Z admitted that they’ve been influenced by social media to spend money on experiences. Also, 48 percent of millennials and 41 percent of Gen Z said they have spent more money than they can afford to participate in experiences with friends. When it comes to spending versus saving, young people were especially interested in the former. The survey found that 53 percent of millennials and 61 percent of Gen Z cared more about their friends’ expenses than their savings accounts.

As USA Today reports, it’s not just kids who are feeling the pressure of social media. The report showed 35 percent of all American adults felt pressure to spend more than they can afford because of social media.

Social media clearly has a big impact on kids, so be sure to talk to your children about it. Stress that what they’re seeing on Instagram isn’t a clear picture of someone’s finances, it’s (literally) filtered. Explain that they need to worry about their own spending/saving habits, not anyone else’s. If spending is out of control because of social media, address the spending habit first. A tree with solid roots will grow strong.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea