In South Africa Women’s day marks the day when women took to the streets in their numbers and marched to the Union Building to protest against carrying of a pass book. As we celebrate this historic date let us not get carried away, forgetting to stick to our budgets and overspending.
25 October 2016
Overspending is a big problem in many households with living expenses skyrocketing and the constant pressure you feel to “keep up with the Joneses”. These pressures you are experiencing are being amplified by the increasing exposure you are getting from social media platforms. Unknowingly, family and friends influence each other to buy products through posting photos and feedback on their social media profiles.
Think about it this way, if a boy goes and stands outside a candy store window 5 times a day and watches all the other people buying candy, some or other time he will go inside and buy something. Even if he has to borrow the money, he will find a way to justify his purchase. And that is exactly what we do when we watch our friends and family several times a day on Facebook or any other social networks. What we forget is that those nice new clothes or exciting holidays come at a cost, and we may even use money we do not have. You should never feel inadequate or that you’re doing something wrong if you do not have the same things that your friends and family have.
So, how can you defeat the so called “Fear Of Missing Out” also known as “FOMO” giant? Like most things in life, knowledge is power. Most of this lifestyle pressure is psychological in nature and once you make yourself aware of it, it becomes easier to eradicate it. Once you have taken this first step, you can ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly:
- Is this something I really need?
- Do I already have something I can use?
- Can I find a cheaper alternative somewhere else?
- How will this enhance my life?
Social media is not going away. It has become an overwhelming part of our lives, for better and/or for worse. How you choose to engage with it could be the difference between a financial downward spiral and a healthy, stress-free budget. Once you master your spending, social media can be fun again!