Study: Nearly 60% of millennials say social media influences their purchases

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Social media has shaped our lives in major ways for most of the past decade, affecting everything from what we watch on TV to how we consume news to even what we wear. Its influence on our lives has not been all positive, though, especially when it comes to our wallets.

Social media has given us wondrous insights into the lives of others, but it also may be having an undue influence on many of our buying habits, according to some recent findings.

A new analysis indicates that the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have contributed to young people going into debt to attain the things they otherwise wouldn’t buy. The data, released Tuesday by Allianz Life, an insurance company, shows that 57% of millennials confess that they’ve made purchases because of what they’ve seen on social media.

Nearly 60% of young adults say social media is influencing what they buy

This is absolutely wonderful news for marketers, who constantly churn the personal data leaking from our social accounts to learn more about our buying habits, favorite entertainment and other things — but it’s less than ideal for  responsible consumers.

The statistics culled from the study show that rather than necessity being the motivating factor, much of the nation’s young adults are buying based on FOMO (fear of missing out). As a result, 61% of millennials surveyed said that they felt inadequate about their financial situation when comparing it to what they were exposed to on social media.

The problem with all this is that more than a few users lie on social media. A 2016 study from UK digital marketing firm Custard found that more than 75% of people admitted to presenting falsehoods about themselves online.

Millennials have a real opportunity to take advantage of their relatively fresh credit histories and build strong financial reputations — if they’re smart about how they use their money.

3 ways millennials can raise their credit scores

One way to do that is to stick to a budget and use credit cards responsibly. Your credit history will thank you later. Here are three ways you can raise your credit scores with very little effort.

  • Pay your credit card bill more than once a month. Can you squeeze in an extra payment on your credit card? It doesn’t have to be much, but it can go a long way toward chopping your balance down in a short period of time. Additionally, you’ll end up saving money because the daily interest accruing on your debt will be greatly reduced.
  • Open a new card. A  new line of credit is a great way to build a healthy credit history, but you’ll want to be careful. You’ll considerably increase your credit line, but having too many stagnant accounts could ding your credit. Only open a new credit line if you plan to use it.
  • Make your payments on time. The #1 way to stay in financial health is to never get behind on your monthly payments. If you have trouble remembering when your credit card bills are due, you might want to look into scheduling them automatically.

Want more tips on how to build a solid credit history and stay out of debt? Join our Clark Your Debt Facebook group to hear from fellow consumers on how they’ve taken control of their financial lives.

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