🎉 Instagram Life & Amazon History

When was the last time you wanted something on Instagram? You're perhaps drawn in by what your friends post - where they eat, what they buy, where they travel - and you want it. Congrats, there's a name for it now: visibility bias. “People are spending more and saving less because they only see what others are spending, and not what they are saving and social media has exacerbated this.” So we see: I’m at a Beyonce concert!” or “I’m scuba diving with Beyonce,” and we want that.

You can also find spending (and anxiety) with money diaries, the new trend where people anonymously detail their spending habits. Reading them can be fun and voyeuristic, but they don’t always give a full picture. Sadly, you won’t see most folks saving on Instagram. Americans usually only save 3%-7% of their income. 

Why am I talking about all this? To make you leave Instagram and rejoin Facebook? No. Sometimes being aware of what influences us to spend money can make us make less susceptible to its powers. So just reading this may help save you millions on scuba fins, Beyonce tickets, and air regulators. 

I do, however, recommend reading some financial tips from Cardi B.

🔪✉️ Hot Tip: Kill Your Junk Mail
My mail is mostly credit card offers, Ralph’s ads, and everyone's favorite Writers Guild magazine, “Written By”. One intrepid soul has written up their attempt at canceling all her junk mail. If you’re interested in stopping your own junk mail, follow these tips. (Did you know paper can only get reused 5 to 7 times?) 

💳🔒 To Do Today: Open a Secure Credit Card
Many folks want to build up credit but have been rejected by credit cards companies either because of a lack of credit history or because of a “rough” history with credit. A secure credit may be a good option. 

How does it work? You provide a refundable security deposit, usually $200-$500. They send you a card with a credit limit that usually matches your deposit. Pay it off every month and you can build up a positive credit history. But remember, keep your balance under 30% of your credit limit or you’ll end up hurting your score! In other words, just use the card for Netflix and Hulu.

🎉 Something Fun: Download your entire Amazon purchase history!
Amazon is great at sending me terry cloth robes in two days but also pretty good at tracking my awful purchase history. You can see your entire Amazon purchase history back to 2006. My first purchase: The Wire - The First Season and 7th Heaven - The First Season. (It was a gift!) Since then, I’ve purchased 549 items on Amazon. Gross? Cool? Most of them 7th Heaven related? 

Go through your history and see if you remember all of them, or needed them. Email me if you find any interesting patterns.

Dylan Snowden