HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Millennial parents report feeling pressure to overspend on their children’s back to school needs.
According to a survey by Bankrate.com, 51% of parents with children under the age of 18 feel pressure to spend additional money on items like clothing, school supplies and tech products for their kids. With virtual school options being integrated around the country during the pandemic, parents could spend more on tech than ever before.
The pressure to appear financially stable to peers on social media is one leading cause of this tendency to overspend in millennial parents.
We met up with Monretta Vega, a Counselor at Huntsville Psychotherapy & Counseling Services. She told us just how much the influence of social media can affect everyday decisions. She says, “We see someone having fun or they’re getting a promotion or wearing something stylish… it leads us to feel like we need to get on that level as well.”
Vega says the effects of these pressures are often analyzed with young teenagers, but they can have a significant impact on parents as well. “It can definitely lead to some negative thoughts, it plays on your subconscious… we automatically feel like we may be behind, we’re not making it, or we’re stuck in our lives,” says Vega.
Vega stresses that parents need to think twice before allowing social media to influence their decisions during this back to school season. She advises parents to be mindful of the negative messages that may be sent to children while overspending. She says parents should teach their children financial responsibility as early as possible.
Monretta Vega also asks millennial parents to remember, “It’s very important that we take social media for what it is… media. Entertainment… It’s a snapshot of a moment and we can’t build our lives off of it. Yes, its a great networking opportunity and even marketing for us adults, however we have to be mindful of the influence and what we’re telling our children.”