UniBank: Nearly 9 in 10 students say social media affects their spending

For most students, social media plays a big part in their uni existence, whether it’s planning events, tracking what their high school friends are up to, or according UniBank’s new report, influencing their spending habits.

The report surveyed over 1200 students across Australia and found that 88% of them believed that social media impacted how they spent their money.

The 3 main areas where students felt they were being effected was when it came down to picking places to go out, like restaurants, cafes and bars (64%), maintaining their ‘look’ by spending on fashion and beauty (56%) or choosing which festivals and events to hit up (56%).

There were a number of reasons students felt that they had been influenced into spending, the big one, reported by 43% of students,  was that they were simply swept up with the ease of buying products off sites like Facebook and Instagram. FOMO (fear of missing out) also played its part, with 23% feeling pressured to spend after seeing their friends at various festivals, restaurants and events.

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While 79% of all students consider themselves to be at least relatively financially savvy, 28% of them don’t always ensure they have the money in the budget before they buy something from social media; getting caught up in the thrill of the sale and forgetting to consult their bank account before clicking purchase.

When it comes to seeking financial advice, the majority of students (62%) turn to their friends or family first, with only 23% starting their search by doing independent research.

All these financial follies are concerning for students, as 76% felt that they were sometimes or always under financial pressure.

4 Tips to make sure your finances are in order

To help ensure that you avoid unnecessary financial stress and have all your personal finances on point, here are 4 super simple tips to get you started:

  • Have a budget: Creating a budget is usually the first tip you’ll hear for successful spending and with good reason. Actually tracking and planning your spending helps you avoid accidentally splurging more than you should and finding yourself with no money, or worse, in debt.
  • Spend your own money: It can be tempting to buy stuff, even when you don’t have the money for it, so try taking that temptation away. Using a debit card, instead of going straight for a credit card as 19% of respondents said they do, means you only have access to your own money, and will help make sure you keep your budget in check.
  • Double check your banking set up: It’s likely that you’re still rocking the same account that you were signed up with when you were 7. So it shouldn’t surprise you to know that there’s potentially a bunch of better options available. For example there’s a number of fee free bank accounts and savings accounts with high interest rates that are definitely worth checking out.
  • Do your own research: If you’re reading this, odds are you’re at least somewhat tuned into your own finances, but independently comparing savings rates every so often to make sure you’re getting the best deal, or reading tips to help keep your money on track is a great step towards financial success.

To get started on a making a budget, you can use our nifty budget calculator, or you can keep reading up on student banking and personal finance tips and tricks.

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