If newspapers would have you believe it us millennials couldn’t last a day without avocados, but the truth is, we can’t get through the day without something entirely different.
Yep, it’s staring you right in the face. Chances are you’ll get a notification at some point during reading this article.
Four in 10 millennials ‘can’t live’ without social media, according to latest findings.
Researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults, aged 15-to-24, found they’re increasingly dependent on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and can’t bear to be away from it.
On average they’ll check up on the latest posts from friends, family and big-name celebs an incredible 30 times a day.
The findings emerged as the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) called on young people to cut down their social media usage – with thousands expected to take part in ‘Scroll Free September’.
But the research commissioned by Barclays found social media is not just a drain on our time – it’s also leaving a dent in our pockets.
More than half have purchased items endorsed by celebrities or influencers on social media, while one fifth directly blame it for a lack of savings.
Fifty-three per cent believe their bank balances would be in a much better shape if wasn’t for tempting posts in their social media feeds.
In fact, young Brits would have £398.76 more in their savings accounts on average – that’s a whopping £3 billion collectively.
As a result, 52 per cent of those polled would like celebs and other big-name social media influencers to provide more advice and support on how to save money.
In an effort to change online spending habits, lifestyle blogger, Jasmine Cecilia Jonas, has teamed-up with Barclays to help young Brits save money – and still get their fix of social media.
Amid this, over half said it’s just the sort of content they want to see on Twitter and Facebook etc.
Jasmine Cecilia Jonas said:
It sounds simple, but my advice is to always spend within your means.
It’s very easy to flick through an influencer’s feed and see a ‘dream lifestyle’ that you wish to lead too, but many people don’t realise that the majority of clothes, holidays and experiences displayed have actually been given as gifts.
Although I too have moments of weakness where I splurge on clothes and other frivolities, I always try to see the bigger picture.
A throwaway item may grant a moment of pleasure, but it’s no comparison to a house, a car or a holiday.
Saving a little bit of money each month really does go a long way to achieving those longer-term goals and having that little bit of contingency money is essential.
The research also found seven in 10 said they ‘love’ online shopping and almost a third revealed they regularly turn to celebrity social media accounts for inspiration.
Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays, said:
It’s easy to see why so many of us enjoy social media and, when you’re stuck on your morning commute, it can certainly provide a welcome distraction.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the influencer’s feeds you see are not real life and much of what you see will have been gifted for free.
But trying to mirror it ourselves could come at a significant cost to our bank balances and future savings goals.
While it may seem important to have the latest must-have items now, think about whether they’re worth the trade off with money you could be putting away for future goals, from going on holiday with your friends, to starting to build up that deposit for your first house.
But before you spit out your low-fat frappe latte and throw your avocados and bananas across the room, we’ve got some top tips for helping you achieve your goal of putting away the pennies, which’ll help you one day buy a house.
Jasmine Cecilia Jonas and Clare Francis’ Top Saving Hacks are:
1. SLEEP ON IT
Instead of purchasing items on impulse take a moment to consider whether you really need it.
Whenever you feel the urge to buy something on social media ask yourself ‘can I afford this right now?’ or ‘do I have other things I need more?’
If you really want something, sleep on it for a night – you may find it doesn’t seem as essential the next day.
2. DITCH THE APPS
If you want to steer clear of temptation have you considered removing your shopping and social media apps from your phone?
It’s amazing how much less attractive a ‘boredom browse’ becomes when you need to login through your browser.
3. TURN THOSE NOTIFICATIONS OFF
Turning those pesky notifications off should hopefully mean you’re less likely to check social media – in-turn saving you from being drawn into the cycle of scrolling and potentially buying.
4. TAKE A PICTURE
If you’re saving for something specific like a holiday with friends or a deposit for a house, why not put a photo of your goal as the backdrop on your phone.
Having this visual reminder will help motivate you to stick to your saving goals and not splash out on non-essentials.
5. WORK OUT YOUR PRIORITIES
If you’re struggling to make ends meet at the end of each month go back to basics and look at what you have coming in each month – and then take away what you need to cover any vital expenses like rent or mortgage payments, mobile phone contracts etc.
This will give you a clear picture of what you’ve got ‘left over’ each month for your enjoyment, but also to put towards your future.
Even putting aside just £5 each month into an ISA will build up to give you a nice savings buffer.
6. DIVVY IT UP
When it all sits in one place it can be easy to dip into the money you need for bills or what you wanted to save that month.
So why not split it up?
You can set up a monthly standing order to redirect anything as small as £1 straight from your current account into a savings account on pay day, keeping that money safe from temptation.
7. SET A TIMER
Social media has many positive benefits such as keeping in touch with friends, and we all enjoy a bit of lifestyle inspiration.
But if you know you’re guilty of ‘boredom browsing’ (and then buying) why not set a timer to keep your social sessions short and sharp.
8. LIVE BY YOUR MEANS
It’s easy to get sucked into the glamorous lifestyles of influencers and celebrities on social media, and it’s natural to want to emulate them.
The important thing though is to always live within your means. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy that new trendy item you wanted.
Neither does it mean you can’t go on that exotic beach holiday. It just means don’t do it all at once, and make sure you have enough leftover in case of an emergency.
9. FIND ANOTHER DISTRACTION
Many of us turn to social media and online shopping as a default entertainment when we’re bored.
When you have the urge to scroll why not put on a film – your bank balance will thank you.
10. CHECK OUT WHAT YOU’VE ALREADY GOT
It’s so easy to get enticed by items we see online, especially clothes, when in fact we have a very similar – if not almost identical – item already hanging in our wardrobes.
Fashion is so fast these days that it’s easy to forget about the hidden gems we already own.
11. HAVE A CLEAR-OUT
If you’re guilty of regularly succumbing to the latest trend, soften the impact on the bank balance by having a clear-out at home and selling clothes you no longer wear or things around the house you don’t use.
Not only will it help clear space for your new purchases you might also be surprised by the amount of money you make to pay for them.
In turn this means you’ll have more money left at the end of the month to put into your savings account.
Savings account. I like the sound of it already!
*Puts spare avocado down*
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.