Is social media draining our bank account? Experts say yes! Research shows that Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook are hurting our finances in a couple of ways:

  • They lower our self-control. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, the feedback we get from our social media friends gives us a short-term ego boost. But there’s a downside. Because when we’re feeling good about ourselves, we’re more likely to splurge on treats and luxury items.

  • Social media creates what experts call “Facebook envy” – which can also get us into financial trouble. Psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin says that viewing pictures and posts of your friends’ dream vacations, new cars, or even just their new clothes can cause you to negatively compare your life to theirs. Which makes you more likely to spend money just to keep up with the cyber-Joneses.

So, does this mean we should stay off Facebook, or un-friend certain people? Not necessarily. But Dr. Malkin suggests choosing your friends wisely - both online and off. Because research shows that we mimic the spending habits of the people we hang out with the most. Which means, spending time with frugal friends will encourage us to save money, and spend wisely.