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How Social Media and FOMO Encourage You to Waste Money and Time

Dec 25, 2019 - Posted by: Rocky Mountain Credit Union

Social media is everywhere these days, and for many people, it's a major way to interact with friends and family. But it can come with its fair share of problems, including financial ones. Let's break down some of the money issues you might encounter with social media, and see how to solve them.

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Advertising

Advertising is a pretty obvious pratfall that can get you to spend money on social media. But that doesn't mean you're not susceptible. With intelligent advertising tailored just for you based on your browsing history and other data, it's easy for those ads to be for things you want, even need, but weren't planning on buying. That's one way that social media can bust your budget. You can always install an ad blocker to help filter out some of the advertising hitting your eyeballs, or even just vow to spend less time on some of those sites to keep temptation at bay.

 

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Lowered Productivity

We're great at convincing ourselves that we are master multitaskers, but the truth is that switching back and forth between tasks isn't the way to be productive. Study after study has come out about the myth of multitasking (as in, we're not good at it), and social media is a big culprit. If you're being less productive, that can cost you big. And the more focused you are, the higher your productivity, and the higher your potential for increased earnings or a coveted promotion. Sometimes it pays to switch off your phone and dig in. 

 

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Time is Money

According to Market Watch, the average American adult spends over eleven hours per day in front of a screen, watching videos, reading articles, and scrolling through social media. That's most of the typical person's waking hours! They say time is money, but how does that really break down here? Let's say a person makes $10 per hour. If they spend 11 hours each day on social media, that's $110 per day down the drain or $550 in a typical 5-day workweek. 

Now, that's not to say that you should spend every waking hour working, either. But if you're finding that you don't have enough time to spend with your family and friends, or pursuing hobbies you love, it may be that excessive screen time is to blame. Try downloading an app that tracks your screen time and let it run for a week. You might be surprised by what you discover. 

FOMO is the new keeping up with the Joneses. Fear of missing out hits millennials hard, but every generation had its own version. Don't let FOMO push you to decisions that go against the gains of budgeting and frugality. 

Just like looking over the white picket fence to see Mr. Jones's new car led to overspending in the middle of the 20th century, so can scoping out the lavish-seeming lifestyles of Instagram influencers bust your budget in modern-day. Don't let that kind of thinking creep into your life. Instead, focus on what you do have and how it enriches your life. 

Don't let FOMO get your account balance down. Start saving now with a personal savings account with RMCU. 

 

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