Can Facebook Make You Poorer?

Sep 14, 2016
Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Budgeting, Current Events, Article


Facebook: Good for social interactions and staying in touch, not so much for your wallet!

Good bell ringer for your budgeting unit and the modern day challenges to control impulse spending and breaking your budget. Interesting article about the power of the “Keeping up with the Joneses” phenomenon. From MarketWatch:

Roughly four in 10 adults with a social media account (39%) say that seeing other people’s purchases and vacations on social media makes them look into a similar purchase or vacation, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans released this summer by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. What’s more, 11% have taken a vacation or made a purchase in the last year after seeing someone’s post about their vacation or purchase.

Reflection questions for your students:

  • Has social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) impacted your purchasing behavior? How?
  • Name something that you bought after seeing it featured on a social media feed. How soon after seeing it did you buy it? Same day? Next day? More than a week later?
  • What is it about human psychology that makes us susceptible to wanting to buy something that we see on social media?
  • What are some strategies to help mitigate this effect?

Want this resource and questions in slide format to use in class? Click here!

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.