What is FOMO and How Does It Affect Your Finances?

A new term has come up in the last few years is FOMO. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, occurs when someone is overcome with anxiety that they could be missing out on social events or experiences that others are having. According to reports, FOMO is crippling and affecting the Millennial generation like a plague that they just can’t shake off.

With the prevalence of social media in our society today, its easy to see all of the cool things that everyone is up to and feel jealous or even envious. My social media page is full of posts from people going on weekend getaways, friends smiling together in bars, people taking awesome trips all over the world, cool food that’s in restaurants. Someone else is always going to a concert, attending a play, a sports game, buying a newer bigger house, or wearing the newest trendiest clothes. It’s hard to get away from reminders that someone somewhere is doing something cool that you’re not doing. When looking at these reminders or hearing theses stories its easy to get caught up in feelings of inadequacy, because maybe you feel your life isn’t as cool.

FOMO can make you try to keep up with the never ending cascade of things that others are doing. The other day, I logged onto my Facebook and within minutes I found several friends talking about awesome trip to New York City. I even felt jealous for a second and wished that I was the one taking that cool trip to new York City over weekend. I wondered was I squandering my time by not going to all these places? I had went from being perfectly happy and content to questioning why I didn’t have an awesome photo to post about my weekend.


This concert may be awesome, but it isn't worth bankruptcy
This concert may be awesome, but it isn’t worth bankruptcy…

But I can’t look at it that way. Because my life is not a performance to be judged on how many likes I can get or how cool of a reaction I get when I tell someone else what has happened in my life. Its important to focus on yourself and what makes you happy.

I can see that in some of my friends that FOMO has overtaken them. It just hasn’t brought them to new places though. Its brought them to a race where they can never keep up. Because there will always be another cool restaurant to eat at. There will always be somewhere else to visit, another great game or concert. There will always be the newest trends, and a new model of the iPhone. They can never keep up. And the worst thing that FOMO has done is that it has drained their wallets. It has robbed them from a future of financially security and in some cases, it sets people up for a lifetime of crushing debt, trouble saving, and living paycheck to paycheck.

So I implore you. Say no to FOMO. It is more important to focus on every day joys in life. Fear of missing out? No not me. I’m not afraid of missing whatever the newest craze is. I’m more afraid of being a slave to a job and being financially dependent where I don’t have the freedom to try new things. I’m afraid of not taking a moment out of each day to stop appreciate all of the wonderful things I have. At the end of the day, all of those things are just a distraction. A distraction from the simple things in life that don’t cost a penny.

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