Social media is impacting the lives of teenagers more than ever before. For better or worse, these digital platforms are giving young people access to more information, which can ultimately impact them in the real world.
When it comes to managing your children’s spending, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule – each family will have their own way of navigating this potentially difficult subject. With regards to social media, as a parent, it can be difficult to monitor your child’s spending habits, especially if they’re using a mobile device. Ads, influencers, and the general fear of missing out can all be contributing factors in encouraging young people to spend money online. But there are a few things you can do to prevent them overspending on these platforms. Here are three top tips to help keep their spending under control.
Have open conversations
One of the best ways to encourage your children to be responsible in their social media use is by having an honest conversation with them about the dangers involved. Young people are generally more impressionable and thus easily influenced by friends or other people they come across on the internet.
Influencers specifically can have a profound impact on teens’ spending habits, and it’s important for parents to make their child aware of the sort of impacts these public figures can have on them. As reported in this guide to social media spending, 70% of teenagers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities, highlighting just how easy it is for this group to shape the behaviour of young people.
Set a budget
With social media being such an important part of many young people’s lives, you may not want to cut off their spending entirely. Instead, you could limit the amount they spend on in-app purchases or other products they see on these platforms, to prevent any spending getting out of hand.
Budgeting is a crucial life skill that helps to guide our financial decisions. Even if you’ve already had discussions around how to manage their money more generally, you should also highlight the importance of keeping a budget when it comes to social media spending.
Set in-app controls
Many social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram often have in-app purchases, which give users greater access to the latest features. Particularly if teens see their friends using these extensions, they can easily be encouraged to follow suit and it soon becomes all too easy for kids to rack up a hefty bill without realising it.
Fortunately, modern technology allows parents to set controls which prevent children from making purchases on an app without a parent’s permission. When they attempt to make a purchase, you will receive a notification, allowing you to either approve or reject the request. This is particularly effective for young children who don’t yet understand financial responsibility, and is a great way to prevent them from making unnecessary purchases that you don’t approve of.
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