Do you ever envy friends' lives on Facebook? A study finds that social media use correlates with dissatisfaction about earnings – perhaps because it tempts users to compare their lives with others. This "keeping up with the e-Joneses" effect varies across age groups but is stronger than similar effects from watching people on TV, researchers say.
Words of wisdom
Our choice of words can influence wealth by changing the way we think, a behavioural economics blog suggests. Describing money as an asset, for example, rather than earnings, makes it seem more like a solid object that can be lost – there’s a parallel in the careful way we treat physical cash versus “virtual” funds or credit.
Imagining your future self can improve long-term money plans, notes a Freakonomics podcast looking at life insurance adverts. People are often optimistic about future finances – but if asked to think about the oldest person they know, and contrast present needs with that possibility, they may rethink what tomorrow might bring, Freakonomics suggests.