Mil­len­ni­als over­spend on­line

The West Australian - - NEWS - Shoba Rao

So­cial me­dia plat­forms are mak­ing young Aus­tralians over­spend as keep­ing up with the Jone­ses has be­come even more im­me­di­ate.

New data from UBank, which sur­veyed 1000 young Aus­tralians be­tween 18 and 34, found two-thirds of mil­len­ni­als ad­mit­ted what they see on their news­feeds drives im­pulse spending.

Another 27 per cent of mil­len­ni­als share pur­chases on­line with the hope of im­press­ing their fol­low­ers and 23 per cent say they have bought over-bud­get items to get a re­sponse on so­cial me­dia after be­ing en­vi­ous of what oth­ers have posted.

More than a quar­ter of those sur­veyed say they’re com­pro­mis­ing their fi­nan­cial fu­ture by what they share on so­cial me­dia.

The sur­vey also found 10 per cent of young peo­ple would pre­fer 1000 likes on a so­cial me­dia post over $200 in a sav­ings or su­per­an­nu­a­tion ac­count.

So­cial an­a­lyst David Chalke said that over­spend­ing has be­come young peo­ples’ re­li­gion.

“This is the new world, it’s not In­sta­gram’s fault, it’s how we have evolved as a hu­man species — it’s eas­ier be­cause it’s there and so­cial me­dia has en­abled the be­hav­iour that’s there,” he said.

“They use it to estab­lish their per­son­al­ity and by show­ing them­selves in their lat­est tribal wear.

“Go back to 18 to 34-year-olds 20 years ago, they were the same but they got out to work ear­lier, didn’t go to uni and get to the work­force at 26.

“They were just as will­ing to spend on things as self-in­dul­gent and unim­por­tant.

“But mil­len­ni­als are smarter than their par­ents, be­cause they’re ex­posed to so much more, even if they over­spend.”

UBank chief ex­ec­u­tive Lee Hat­ton said that young peo­ple are con­scious of what they’re spending, even if they are blow­ing their bud­gets.

“They’re smart, they are fi­nan­cially savvy, they know how to shop for in­ter­est rates on their sav­ings, they will use us for sav­ings goals be­cause we have good in­ter­est rates, they set goals for them­selves so they can buy what they want.

“But we all need to be clear on our bud­get, if we find our­selves get­ting out of the pa­ram­e­ters then seek ad­vice, money can be stress­ful when we get out of con­trol.”

Syd­ney re­tail worker Michelle Ho, 26, gets her In­sta-shop­ping fix from high-end blog­gers who tag their out­fits.

She said she was on In­sta­gram for two to three hours a night and an hour in the morn­ing in­stead of look­ing at mag­a­zines or web­sites be­cause the mod­els in them are “not re­al­is­tic” to her.

She spends be­tween $1000 and $1500 a month on some­thing she would have seen on In­sta­gram, and does not like to be pho­tographed wear­ing the same item twice on so­cial me­dia.

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