How the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is Costing You Money

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

do i have fomo?
Many of us don’t like to feel as though we’re missing out on something. In fact, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is likely something that is holding you back financially.

We tend to say “yes” too much, and even spend money, just to make sure we don’t miss out on anything. That’s why one of the ways to spend less is to realize that we might not actually be missing out all that much.

fomo expensiveSpending Money to Go Out With Friends

One of the most obvious ways that FOMO costs you money is in the way you spend when you go out with friends. You don’t want to feel as though you’re the only one who missed out on a party or a trip to the restaurant or bar.

In my case, FOMO often manifests as a desire to attend too many conferences. I don’t want to feel as though I’m missing out when my friends get together. However, conferences can get expensive, and that can put a damper on some of my other travel priorities.

Whether you think you need to go out to the bar every weekend with your friends, join in every road trip, or attend every party, constantly going out is likely to add up and take its toll.

Instead, consider staying away sometimes. You might miss out on some jokes, but chances are that you won’t miss out on something major. You can also suggest alternate activities that don’t cost as much.

Consider holding potluck dinners at different friends’ homes instead of dining out all the time. Even just having a game night or movie night at home can be a good way to avoid missing out without spending a lot of money.

What are You Neglecting When You Let FOMO Rule Your Time?

Another consideration is what you might be neglecting when you let FOMO get the best of you. While I can afford all of the conferences I attend, the reality is that I’m probably not missing out by skipping some of them I don’t consider essential.

The reality is that I might be missing out on something more important when I let FOMO change the way I use my time. What am I missing out on in terms of what my son is doing? This is something that is worth far more consideration than what I might miss out in terms of “fun” and inside jokes.

You might also find yourself more stressed when you say “yes” to too many things. FOMO often leads to a cluttered schedule, which can be stressful and affect your health. And, as we all know, your health can in turn impact your pocket book.

Be realistic about how you use your time, and consider where you want your resources to go. You could end up neglecting money-making opportunities to improve a side business or network with contacts that can help you advance your career if you let FOMO rule your time.

Don’t let FOMO blind you to your true priorities with money and with time. Figure out what is the best use of your resources. While you want to relax sometimes and enjoy others’ company, don’t say yes so often that it starts to send your finances downhill.

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  • Mr. Groovy says:

    Relocating and moving away from friends is a sure-fire way to avoid FOLO. We’re boring anyway. When we occasionally do go out socially, I can see Mrs. Groovy’s forehead scrunching as she’s mentally calculating how much it’s going to cost us.

    • David @ says:

      I am a bit like Mrs. Groovy so I know how she feels! 🙂

      I moved right after I got my master’s degree. I was able to build a career and then a business too. No regrets now since I turned out great. Still, it was hard at the beginning to leave everything behind, so it’s not for the faint of heart!

  • Ramona says:

    I really used to care about being in the ‘group’ and not missing out. I was about 20 and never cared about having a clear plan for my life outside today. Now, as I get closer to 40, I am more focused and really don’t care about missing out on any of the opportunities that did matter a decade ago.

    • David @ says:

      That’s the definition of maturity Ramona. Good for you to start fine tuning your own priorities in life. Before you know it you’ll reach your goals!

  • Matt P says:

    This one is easy, just don’t have any friends! I save sooo much money. *Laugh turns to uncontrollable sobbing.*


    • David @ says:

      Haha nice tip!

      But how do you actually control the emotions of feeling like you are missing out when you don’t have any friends?!? 🙂

  • Jess says:

    Great post!

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