A spending coach has lifted the lid on the four ways TikTok has skewed our view of what normal consumption looks like and has us wasting money.
Paige Pritchard, 33, from Texas, has nearly 90,000 followers on the platform, where she is teaching viewers how to stop overspending after overcoming her own struggles with impulse shopping.
The TikTok creator, who uses the handle @overcoming_overspending, has been candid about how she once blew through a $60,000-a-year salary while living at home with her parents after college.
After realizing she could barely afford to get her own place, she curbed her spending, paid off her student loans, and built up a six-figure investment portfolio by the time she was 29.
Spending coach Paige Pritchard, 33, from Texas, has gone viral on TikTok after detailing how the app contributes to poor financial decisions in ways people may not realize
Pritchard explained the first predominant theme that she sees all over TikTok is that you always need to have the ‘best’ and ‘newest’ items
Pritchard went viral last week when she pointed out how TikTok contributes to poor financial decisions in ways people may not realize.
‘The more time I spend on this app, the more I’m seeing these themes coming through about what your consumption habits should look like that actually aren’t very normal,’ she explained.
‘I want to point them out to you so that if you see them on this app, you can just keep all of this in mind to know that these themes aren’t really the way that you should be spending your money.’
Always needing the newest item
Pritchard explained the first predominant theme that she sees all over TikTok is that you always need to have the ‘best’ and ‘newest’ items.
She noted that having this attitude will ensure you’re ‘never going to get much use out of your products’ because you’re always replacing them.
‘As soon as you buy something, and you start using it, something better is going to come along,’ she said of the cycle consumption.
Not only does constantly upgrading your items waste money, but it also ensures you will end up with more junk and clutter.
‘You’re not going to be extracting any value out of the products that you buy,’ she reiterated, ‘because you’re just going to be hopping from item to item trying to get the biggest and best and newest.’
The expert shared that the second major theme on the app is the idea that ‘we should be prioritizing instant gratification over delayed gratification with our consumption habits’
‘My philosophy is that you always want to prioritize your future self and what’s best for her financially rather than doing what’s best in the moment,’ she said
Prioritizing instant gratification
Four TikTok ideals that lead to overspending
- Always needing the newest item
- Prioritizing instant gratification
- Having an all-or-nothing mindset
- Thinking more will make you happier
Pritchard shared that the second major theme on the app is the idea that ‘we should be prioritizing instant gratification over delayed gratification with our consumption habits.’
‘We see people shopping on a daily basis. We see people going to Starbucks or going and getting little treats throughout the day,’ she said.
‘The overarching theme on this app is “I’m going to treat myself, and I’m going to prioritize what I want most in this moment rather than what’s best for me long term.”‘
The spending coach stressed that there is nothing wrong with going to Starbucks from time to time, saying she does it too.
However, she explained that sometimes those habits work against your big-picture goals.
‘My philosophy is that you always want to prioritize your future self and what’s best for her financially rather than doing what’s best in the moment,’ she said.
‘And sometimes that will mean saying no to yourself in the present moment so that you can say yes to yourself in the future for the thing that you want most.’
Pritchard noted that TikTok also promotes an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to spending money
The spending coach gave an example of moving into new home and feeling like it has to be fully furnished. She stressed that there is nothing wrong with being in an in-between phase
Having an all-or-nothing mindset
The spending coach noted that another misconception she sees on TikTok is the idea that ‘things have to be complete.’
She gave examples of what she means, saying, ‘If you move into a new house, it has to be fully furnished. If you start a new hobby, you have to have all the gear for the hobby. If you’re having a baby, you have to have all of the baby gear. If you’re starting a new job, you have to completely revamp your wardrobe.’
‘This app definitely promotes an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to our consumption habits, especially when we’re moving into a new season of life. It tells us that we can’t be okay with being in an in-between.’
Pritchard stressed that there is nothing wrong with getting the essentials and waiting to buy things until you are sure you need them.
‘It’s so much healthier, and it’s so much more beneficial for your spending habits,’ she insisted.
The final theme that Pritchard sees on TikTok is the notion that ‘more is better’ and will make you happier
‘We tend to think that there is a linear relationship between how much we buy and how much we spend and how happy we are going to be, and it’s simply not the case,’ she said
Thinking more will make you happier
The final theme that Pritchard sees on TikTok is the notion that ‘more is better.’
‘There is just this overarching message that the more you have, the more you spend, the more you acquire, the happier you will be, and that’s just simply not the case,’ she said. ‘The truth is that there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to our spending habits.’
The financial expert explained that spending money will make you happier at first, but only to a certain point.
‘Once you reach the point of enoughness and sufficiency, any spending and acquiring that you do past that point, where you’re just buying junk and excess and clutter, will actually start to bring down your levels of happiness and fulfillment,’ she told viewers.