Saving in a World of Targeted Ads

I originally wanted to write a blog post about subscription services, and how they eat up your income. On my laptop I started researching the most popular subscription services.

A few hours later I opened Instagram on my phone and it was filled with ads for various subscription boxes. The two I get most frequently is for Fab Fit Fun and for Hello Fresh.

I really love the song “85” by Andy Grammer. The lyrics are:

“There is a lie that I believed
The more that I got, the more I’d be free, free, free, free
So I’ve been away, making the green
See, the more that I get, the more that I need, need, need, need

I like to think that I am highly resistant to targeted ads, but it is a constant struggle to remind myself that I don’t need these products.

A few weeks ago, I kept getting, and still do get, ads for different tooth powders. I had never heard of tooth powder, yet the ad was so enticing that I almost paid $30 for a TINY container of tooth powder.

Subscription boxes and other products that these ads are often for have a way of eating up our money.

Here are strategies I use to resist targeted ads:

  1. Avoiding them. As I am scrolling through social media, I often will click hide on ads without really reading them.
  2. Wait 24 hours to purchase. Often the ads are trying to rush you to buy NOW. Just wait. Often after 24 hours you realize naturally that you really don’t need it.
  3. Comparison shop. I sometimes find myself convinced by the ads that this product is the best on the market. But if I take a moment to comparison shop, I typically find that the product is overpriced compared to other products.

Finally, having a written spending plan can help you navigate the appropriate time to make purchases on items that you may want, but do not need. If you would like help building a spending plan personalized to your needs, schedule an appointment with a Peer Financial Counselor at the Center for Financial Success. Visit our website to schedule an appointment!