Money: we work for it, spend it on goods and services, borrow it to buy a home or spend it to rent one. Sometimes we measure our self-worth and achievements in monetary terms, comparing ourselves against others - which isn’t always great . Sometimes we look at what friends, or even complete strangers, have achieved financially and beat ourselves up about our own achievements, which can be dangerous, particularly for your mental health.
Social media can often make matters worse. We’re all guilty of scrolling through and comparing our lives to others, even more so during lockdown. It can be easy to fall into the trap and start to feel envious of people’s seemingly perfect “isolation” life. Whether others are showcasing their beautiful house, home office and garden or even their home workouts, it can often make you feel like they’re better off than you.
What if you realised that this cycle of comparison makes you feel bad, but that it may also be causing you to spend more?
Social media and how we compare ourselves to others, has a large impact on how we spend our money. According to Forbes, 78% of consumers’ purchases are impacted by companies’ social media posts and an infographic by Invesp reveals that 41% of shoppers shop impulsively for an item after seeing it on social networks. Combine that with a Credit Karma survey which found that nearly 40% of millenials spend money they didn’t have and have even gone into further debt to keep up with their friends, and we can see that it’s not the healthiest way to live.
Comparing ourselves to others can - and is - making us spend more and actually can cause us to spend money we don’t even have just to give off the impression of a picture-perfect lifestyle. And when you think about it, we’re doing it to keep up with people we don’t even know, that are also presenting a life that isn’t real.
So what can we do?
We need to remember that our net worth is not linked to our self-worth, and when it comes to money, being kind to yourself, focusing on your own journey, and avoiding comparisons are essential steps towards achieving your financial goals.
One thing we can do is to reduce time spent on social media. We are all experiencing increased ‘screen time’ at the moment’, but if you can limit the time you spend on platforms that showcase other people’s lives, the more time you’ll have to focus on your own journey and your own achievements.
Deep down, we all know that what you see on social media isn’t ‘real’.
People often only showcase their ‘highlights’.
We’re all on our own money journey and comparisons will only slow us down.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, take the opportunity to be kind to yourself by prioritising your own money journey. We’re all at different stages, we all have different strengths and we all have different challenges and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Important: This is an option, not a recommendation. Your employer does not benefit from offering this service and all your communications will be with Salary Finance Limited trading as Neyber. This content is for guidance and educational purposes only and is generic in nature. Salary Finance does not offer regulated financial advice. Please seek independent financial advice.