While some lay blame on the avocado narrative for this generation's inability to save, I stand in unison with the innocent stone fruit, and instead ask you to direct your angst towards the real savings suckers of the modern world.
Housing costs, student loans and transport are among the top tier Draculas or Edward Cullens of our bank accounts, ie the ultimate ‘savings suckers’. But we’re not here to talk about them. They get enough screen time in Twilight. So, putting that leech triad aside, where is all of our money going if we’re not saving it?
‘I’m wearing it or I’ve eaten it’ is the preempted comical response, and you’re not wrong; statistically, eating out is responsible for a fair chunk of our transaction history.
However, the recent and rather rapid evolution of modern technology has influenced our spending behaviour more than Instagram has influenced home-workout eBook purchases.
There is a solution to every problem, and it comes at a price.
Our mum is to blame
Not yours, ours - “Mother Fintech”.
Fintech is responsible for Chip’s existence. We are the love child conceived out of the marriage between the finance and technology industries, who came together over a few Porn Star Martinis to digitise money.
Household names such as Paypass, Paypal and Apple Pay are examples of fintech innovations, all of which have had a major influence on the way we pay. Fintech has gifted us convenience, immediacy and in turn, more opportunities to mindlessly spend.
Frictionless online shopping
You could be looking on Amazon for a Christmas present for dear old grandma, and next thing you know you’ve bought a courgette spiraliser and a hemp poncho without physically seeing the financial repercussions like our ancestors did when a family of moths flew from their wallets. And who’s responsible? One click ordering.
Intangible digital money
Looking at a figure representative of our available funds in an app doesn’t have the same impact as the material depletion of £20 notes from our purses. We just mindlessly tap and go without seeing the physical havoc.
We love mobile banking, but it allows us to transfer money between spending and savings accounts instantaneously, creating more ease of access to our ‘off limit’ funds.
Even once you’ve burnt through the ‘off limit’ funds, credit cards parachute down to save the day and provide temporary gratification.
More recently, online institutions have even introduced a ‘spend now, pay later’ option, sending the obstacle of having to wait until payday to complete the purchase into extinction.
We just can’t escape.
As Freddie Mercury once sung, we’re Under Pressure
We are more connected than ever, which is great when you want to check up on an ex, and even greater for advertisers trying to sell you their product or service. Marketers and advertisers can deploy a message globally in a matter of seconds, persuading us to buy, subscribe and repeat.
Our feeds, web browsers, inboxes, morning paper and even tube carriages are inundated with opportunities to spend which, you guessed it, isn’t ideal when you are trying to save.
LinkedIn reports that we see upward of 5,000 ads a day, most of which are subliminally selling us the ideology that our current possessions/situation is not enough, leaving us dissatisfied and vulnerable to temptation. Even if we succeed at resisting, re-targeted ads slither in and get you expelled from the garden of responsible spending.
What’s more, with the high turnover of content, we have seen trend lifecycles dramatically shorten making way for more consumption. What was in one week, is out the next and heaven forbid someone outfit repeats.
Help me, I’m (time) poor
In between the 9 to 5 work day, daily sweat sessions, midweek catch ups and Facetiming your mum, spare time is a luxury few are familiar with.
The glorification of busyness is discussed in self development books and mindfulness articles, and attributes to higher spending in the name of saving time.
Getting an Uber instead of the tube; getting your weekly shop delivered because you can’t bear the walk; frequenting Taskrabbit for trivial chores; getting Deliveroo to the office and a Pret A Manger latte because you can’t spare the 3 minutes at work.
Saving has fallen down the rank of priorities and if we could only find a free time slot in our busy schedules, we would soon realise that.
Luxuries have become necessities
We’re all guilty of the ‘lifestyle creep’: as you make more money, what once seemed like luxuries become necessities. Can you imagine a time without 4G, Spotify, Netflix, gym membership or that extra 60p for almond milk?
Our society’s increased purchase power has redefined what is considered ‘normal’. We’ve reached a point where individuals feel deprived without the “basics” that we accept as a standard quality of life.
‘Learned helplessness’ is a factor stopping many of us from even trying to save. If you’ve never heard of the term, it roughly translates to us all having a subconscious pity party.
‘I don’t earn enough to save’; ‘I suck at saving’. In a society that has become dependent on immediacy and convenience, it seems our reaction to challenges which require effort and patience is to dismiss it.
So, what can you do about it?
We are all victim to the illusion that spending is easier than saving.
The solution’s simple: download Chip and pay 👏 yourself 👏 first. We see you rolling your eyes, but we like to think we’ve mastered the art of making saving easier than spending.
Every few days we’ll stash away an amount you can afford without you having to do a thing. You’re welcome.
Sign up, sit back and see the savings.