De-influencing your spending habits


Influencer culture has many of us in a frenzy, hastily rushing to buy the latest, trending items. But are these truly must-have items that will genuinely change your life and revolutionise the way you do things?


Understanding social media’s impact on spending


Social media has the potential to disrupt both your finances and your self-esteem by luring you into overspending. Those targeted ads that populate your feed can be particularly tempting, appearing frequently and encouraging impulse buying.

Social media also tends to create a habit of comparing your life to others, triggering FOMO. This can encourage you to spend more money, trying to keep up with the perceived lifestyles that others show off online. The constant comparison can lead to you spending money you could be saving. This takes a toll on both your mental health and your wallet.


Practical steps to beat your social media habit


Every day, social media will urge you to buy things. You need to pause and check that ‘influencers’ aren’t having a negative influence on your life. Here are some steps you can take to avoid this:

  • Clean up your feed
    Unfollow accounts that push constant buying and materialism. If you’re not sure whether you’re falling into the influence trap, think about what you bought most recently. How much have you bought in the past few weeks or months, and how much of it was directly influenced by what you saw on social media?


Only buy things that genuinely align with your needs … you’ll improve your overall financial management


  • Ask yourself: ‘Do I really need this?’
    Often, your life could carry on just fine without an item you see punted on social media. Ask yourself if you already have something similar – will buying this product significantly enhance your quality of life? Are you buying it just because social media influenced you, or is it genuinely something you need? Taking a moment to reflect on these questions can help you make more mindful, intentional buying decisions.

  • Make a list
    Of course, there are products that are worth investing in. Instead of impulsive spending sprees, though, consider making a wish list of items you need or would like to buy. Don’t buy everything on that list at once. Taking some time to think it over allows you to make more mindful spending choices. Revisit your list after some time. You may find that your priorities have shifted, and you won’t end up buying things you don’t really need.

  • Set a budget
    When it comes to trendy items and the excitement they generate, a budget is your best friend. It helps you resist the urge to spend on impulse. Explore Nedbank’s MoneyTracker budgeting tool on the Money app. It will help you keep your spending in check and stick to your budget.

  • Build your emergency savings fund
    Redirect the money you save by avoiding FOMO-driven purchases into an emergency savings fund. This proactive measure not only safeguards your financial future, but also grants you more control over your spending habits. Kick-start the process by making small but consistent contributions to your emergency savings. A good strategy is to set up automatic transfers to your savings account on payday. To boost your savings, pinpoint other areas in your life where you can trim expenses.

In a society fuelled by hashtags like #YOLO and #FOMO, redefine your priorities and resist the sway of social media. Sponsored influencers often encourage unnecessary spending by creating a materialistic environment in which they promote specific items as ‘must-haves’. Ask yourself if buying something will really improve your life, or if it’s just a fleeting desire sparked by a social media post.

Adopting a more sceptical approach empowers you to escape the social media trap and make value-based buying decisions. Only buy things that genuinely align with your needs and priorities, and you’ll improve your overall financial management. Take control of your finances and start saving with a MyPocket account.