PennyWise: Personal Finance & Travel TipsPennyWise: Personal Finance & Travel Tips

5 tips to avoid overspending when scrolling social media

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From curated ads to influencers showcasing the newest, hottest items it is impossible to escape ads on social media, and it's never been easier to purchase these items. But how can you stay on top of trends without overspending on things you, frankly, don't need?

On the latest episode of PennyWise, host Nat Cardona talks with Kimberly Palmer of NerdWallet about how to keep social media from helping you overspend.

Read the NerdWallet article here!

About this program

Nat Cardona is host of PennyWise as well as Lee Enterprise's true-crime podcast Late Edition: Crime Beat Chronicles. Lee Enterprises produces many national, regional and sports podcasts. Learn more here.

Episode transcript

Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:

Welcome to Pennywise Lee Enterprises podcast. I'm your host, Nat Cardona

We're all guilty of it sucked into buying a gadget you saw in a Facebook ad or late night scrolling that turns into a whole shopping spree because of all those hard to miss deals. Personal finance expert Kimberly Palmer joins us today on how to curb your social media spending. I'm actually kind of excited to talk about this topic.

We're looking at five tips to keep you from overspending on the things that you see on social media. A lot of people are guilty of it, myself included. The first one is just an oldie but goodie. Making that wish list and waiting.

Yes, I actually use this myself all the time because it's such a helpful way just to not buy everything you want right away. So if you see something online, maybe on social media or anywhere, instead of clicking purchase, you just click to put it in your cart or add it to your wish list and then you can circle back to it later. You can wait a day or a week or a month, and it just gives you that extra chance to think about if you really want it.

Definitely my go to approach with Amazon. Yeah, this is the cart. It kind of lives there. Gets stores on it, and then I'm like, Oh, you know, why did I even think I wanted that?

Exactly. And the secret that a lot of people don't know is that retailers, online retailers, notice when you put it in your cart and then they might even send you a follow up coupon to apply. So it's extra It's actually an extra way to save money, too.

Oh, I like that. Next thing here: Evaluate the item without thinking about the sale price attached to it. Too much. Let's go into that.

It is so easy to see something that's on sale and just let that excitement get the better of you. And then you think that item is actually better than it really is. And so you want to take a minute and think, Would I actually want this even if it wasn't on sale? Just to consider take that the sale price out of the equation.

Because the fact is, even though there's so much messaging around, you need to buy this now, the sale is only coming once. The fact is sales definitely do reoccur and it's not your only chance to get it. And so if you do actually want it, you can just get it next time it goes on sale too.

I know that around prime days or that Nordstrom's sale that happens, is it just it's going on in the mom influencer world. It kind of feels like you're in competition with other people trying to buy the same kid's gadgets. And I know what I've seen that 30% off price tag. I'm like, I need to get it before that mom over there does so.


Yeah. And then it never turns out well with a huge pack and play like I do that I'm trying to get rid of. Oh, no. This one's an important one for us. All that late night scrolling.

This is such a challenging time of day. When it's late at night, you're exhausted. You've had a long day, you're stressed out, you're trying to unwind. And basically it's so easy to make those purchases that you don't really need when you're doing that late night scrolling because all of your defenses are down. And so if possible, you want to hold off any purchases at that time of day and wait and look at it again the next day when you have a good night's rest and you're looking at it with fresh eyes because basically it's just so easy to click and purchase into seconds late at night and then you can just as easily regret that you did that.

Yeah. Post-Midnight Monopoly money.


Going on to this next tip. It's not so great for your budget oftentimes. So an oldie but goodie. Probably want to know how much you can spend on the things you want.

Exactly. So it can be really helpful to set aside a portion of your budget for spending on things that you want but you don't need. And so one helpful rule of thumb, I really like the 50-30-20 budget, which basically means 50% of your take home pay is going towards needs like housing and food, 30% towards wants and 20% towards savings and debt payments. So out of that middle 30%, you can use that to buy items that you want to shop. And so, of course, everyone's budget will be slightly different, but it's a good rule of thumb because there's no need to feel guilty about things that you actually want and, you know, if it fits into your budget. But using this rule of thumb to decide whether it fits into your budget and how much you want to spend can just help it help you from overspending and prevent that overspending.

And so to me, I think that's a useful kind of rule of thumb to use.

Yeah, it keeps you feeling good about your purchase. Yeah. Yeah. You want to be happy with what you got here? Exactly. And this final tip, the fifth and final one hitting that unfollow button.

You definitely alluded to this already, but basically, it's just so easy to see what other people have online. You know, who knows how they're reporting it. That's not always shared. But basically you see these lifestyles or items that other people have. And then we want them. And so if you notice that you keep getting those feelings of envy evoked from looking at specific influencers online or even friends online, there is nothing wrong with unfollowing them because, you know, it's stirring up that negative emotion and so you might as well just skip it.

That's the word to the wise men Do that. Kim Anything else you want to add about curbing spending on social media?

I think the biggest thing is forget about the guilt. So don't feel bad if you've already done this, but you know you can start fresh and use some of these strategies like putting things into your cart or wishlist, and it's a way to just get back on track. So you feel good about your spending because that's the ultimate goal.

There you go. I appreciate it.

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