While we can admit that most technological innovations are aimed at making life easier, we cannot deny that they are making one element a bit more difficult…saving money.
Remember those days when we actually had to leave our homes for every product we needed to obtain or any service we required? Remember when it was actually necessary to have cash in hand to acquire it? The way we purchase and sell has indeed evolved. Like any digital technology or consumer-based purchasing market, e-commerce has progressed over the years. Furthermore, with mobile devices becoming increasingly popular, mobile commerce has become its very own market. While technology has unquestionably contributed to the progression of our society in many ways, we have to take a closer look at how it is impacting our spending habits.
Social Media & E-commerce: A Seller’s Dream, A Buyer’s Trap
Social Media is a business person’s dream. Undeniably, it has become an important driving tool of e-commerce, with the rise of popular sites such as Facebook and Pinterest, just to name a few. It is designed in such a way, that salespersons can now sponsor advertisements to reach their target audience or market. Ad targeting is just one of the traps we fall into as buyers. Then, there is another marketing strategy known as content marketing that utilizes articles and videos to reach potential clients and get them to shop online. Companies are constantly looking for new and creative ways to capture that potential shopper. Soon, theses subtle ads get you to the point where it’s hard to resist the temptation of spending that pretty penny, even on things you do not need.
Convenience…but at what cost?
Indisputably, technology continues to make the use of credit and debit cards increasingly convenient. The Internet has revolutionized the way we shop. Simply with a few clicks of the mouse (and your credit card number of course), you can have almost any item shipped straight to you from almost anywhere in the world. However, we have to pause for a minute and ask ourselves, what is the cost of this convenience? Now let’s be honest with ourselves, shall we? Whether you choose to admit it or not, the easier it is to purchase something, the more likely you’ll buy on impulse. Furthermore, the more businesses that accept credit cards, the more likely you are to swipe that card, especially as you no longer need to be walking around with physical cash. For the impulsive shopper, this could be a recipe for disaster! Let’s not forget also, that’s another bill you have to pay off at the end of the month, or else you’ll be paying that lovely interest charge.
It is common knowledge that mobile phones keep us connected in many ways. Efficiency has skyrocketed. Everything that is done on a PC or Mac could be done in the palm of your hand. Nowadays, the Apple IPhone 7 and IPhone 7 Plus are the talk of the town. Persons who desire to own one but can’t afford to just yet are saving breathlessly, while those who are more fortunate boast openly of its features. These smartphones are budget-breaking just to purchase them, and don’t forget to add the costs for the up-keep of the daily / weekly / monthly data packages when one does not have access to the beloved WIFI. As trivial as this may seem, these charges add up, and we may wind up overspending without even realising it.
Technology is embedded everywhere, and so are its costs. Without doubt, it is an immense necessity, but at the same time, it is impossible to ignore the influence that it has on consumer trends. If you are not disciplined enough, you will find yourself signing separation papers from your money. So enjoy your gadgets and all that technology has to offer, but re-evaluate those spending habits.