The West Australian

Millennial­s overspend online

- 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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