Leisl L. Cording, CFP®
Senior Vice President & Financial Advisor
While smartphones can provide endless entertainment, they can also be bad news for your budget. Here’s why doing a “digital detox” could be good for you mentally and financially, and how to get started on doing one yourself...
1: You're exposed to fewer ads.
If there’s a screen in front of you, you can’t avoid being exposed to advertisements. Marketing efforts are being geared toward grabbing the attention of those shopping or gaming online or scrolling through social media. By spending less time doing these things, you’re automatically reducing your ad exposure, and less exposure means less temptation to make impulse purchases.
2: It builds your impulse control.
When you’re exposed to the same brand or product over and over, it can wear down your impulse control. In fact, studies on smartphone usage have shown that your impulse control is lessened with excessive use of your phone.3 With everything right at your fingertips, it can be harder to say “no.” Therefore, more time away from your phone can help build up your impulse control and remove the temptation altogether.
3: You won't experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
By logging onto social media, you’re exposing yourself to others' lives and you may start to envy their new purchases, latest travels or big fashion finds. This can lead to FOMO (“fear of missing out”), a very real phenomenon that causes you to want to do the same things or buy the same things. That FOMO could soon translate to a need to spend money to achieve a similar result. If you didn’t log on in the first place, you wouldn’t experience those feelings, which will save you money by removing the temptation.
4: It can help realign your priorities.
Do you find yourself mindlessly perusing shopping websites, and the next thing you know you have unnecessary items in your cart? If so, you’re not alone. While this can be harmless once in a while, it’s also an unnecessary temptation that could easily develop into a financial problem. Spending time away from screens can free you up for more time spent with your family and friends, learning a new hobby or reading a book – and that can provide a much-needed opportunity to realign your priorities.
5: It gives you back your free time.
Think of all that you could do with more hours back in your day? You could get more exercise or start a side hustle, focus on home improvement projects and more.
How to Start Your Digital Detox
A digital detox can be quite a lifestyle change, but there are ways to get started and continue with the new habits you are forming.
- For one, try making a list of all the things you like to do that don’t involve a device. Listing out what you’re interested in can serve as motivation to stay off your phone and lead you to new experiences instead.
- Also remember that a digital detox should include every screen in your life – your phone, your tablet, smartwatch, gaming device, etc. It might come as a shock just how connected you really are. For most, trying to quit technology “cold turkey” will be a challenge and at times, impractical. So, start by setting specific times when you are able to avoid screens, such as first thing in the morning or right before bed, and make sure you stay screen-free during those times. You may also find it helpful to use an app to limit your screen time.
- Finally, make an effort to get back to basics. Put away your Apple watch for a while and use a regular wristwatch. Switch to an analog alarm clock in the morning, so you don’t have your phone alarm right next to your bed.
While there’s certainly much more involved in improving your finances, a digital detox can be an effective place to start. If you’re really ready to take your finances to the next level so you can achieve those “big picture” life goals, get in touch with us at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors. We can help you build a strategy to maximize your finances so you can fearlessly pursue your goals, utilizing our strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well process.
Presented by Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor Leisl L.Cording, CFP®. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, CT 06259, 860.928.2341. http://www.whzwealth.com These materials are general in nature and do not address your specific situation. For your specific investment needs, please discuss your individual circumstances with your financial advisor. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing in the accompanying pages should be construed as specific tax or legal advice.