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#RealMoneyTalk: Moving from FOMO to JOMO

Real Money Talk


Having FOMO (fear of missing out)? Let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced FOMO at one point in our lives.  

Having FOMO, especially when it has to do with money and the activities your friends take part in is hard to shake off. Social media doesn’t help either– there’s everything from pictures of lavish vacations to people posting what they’re up to, essentially saying “hey, look at how much fun I’m having!” or “‘look at this thing I bought!” 

Instagram is our highlight reel where we carefully craft how we want the world to see us, even if it’s not entirely accurate. We give in to impulse spending and end up building debt, which can drain our accounts pretty hard. 

If you’re anything like me, you’re focused on spending less and paying off debt. Here are some of my free and favorite ways to swap FOMO for JOMO– the joy of missing out. Of course, there will always be things we have to say yes to and learning how to be fine with missing out takes some practice. The key here is to embrace JOMO, which is easier than you think! Here are three ways to get started: 

Just Log Off

Social media can often make life feel a lot like a never-ending competition. Who’s having the most fun? Who just tried out the latest fitness class? Who wore the newly released sneakers first? We’ve all been there. This often leads to spending money in order to look like you’re living your best life. In fact, according to Trustpulse, 48% of millennials have spent money they didn’t have to keep up with friends. 

After living through this cycle of constantly feeling like I have to one-up everyone else, I did something that not many remember to do– I logged out of my accounts. Now, I’m not saying to log out and delete everything. What I am saying is to block out a few hours to spend offline without worrying about what your friends are up to. Pro tip: Put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Nobody needs to be tempted by the FOMO triggers on Instagram. 

Admittedly, this won’t be the easiest thing to do. Many of us are dependent on our favorite platforms and are used to mindlessly scrolling down our feed, but trust me, you’re not missing out on anything in the time you’re away. With time, you’d be surprised at how effective this is in helping you embrace the joy of missing out, try it! 

Have Some Me Time 

Don’t confuse loneliness with spending time alone. Instead of going out to attend an acquaintance’s huge birthday bash, put on your favorite movie, make some comfort food and spend a cozy night in. When we’re talking about “me time”, make sure you spend it fully with yourself. Remember what I said about logging off? This would be the perfect time to put it to use. 

Make the most out of your me time to unwind, reflect and focus on your personal growth. Personally, I allocate about one night every month to kick back and journal. I’ve found that journaling helps me reflect on my priorities and set attainable goals. 

This time can also be doubled up for you to have a #RealMoneyTalk with yourself. Write about what goals you actually want to focus on – whether that’s paying off debt, improving your credit score, buying a new car or putting money away for retirement. If you’re staring at a blank page with a pen in hand not knowing where to start, use my favorite prompts to get your own self-reflection journey going: 

What is my biggest barrier in clearing my debt? 

  • Where do I want to be financially two years from now? 
  • What are some side hustles or passion projects I can take on to have some extra income? 
  • What are my spending triggers

These are just starting points so you can begin reflecting and setting goals. Being honest with yourself and knowing where you are with your goals (including your money goals!) can be reassuring and its own form of self-care. Put your pen to the page and give it a try – you’ll likely feel more productive after too. 

Practice Saying No 

Let’s face it– we all have a hard time saying no to invitations. Nobody likes getting rejected and you don’t want to be that person who doesn’t show up to a team dinner. While I’m not encouraging you to turn down every opportunity thrown at you, I’m asking you to consciously choose what really matters. Set boundaries with yourself. After all, time is money, so think about how much money you’re saving by choosing to skip an event and stay in. 

Don’t worry about judgment from your peers. Good friends should understand each other’s priorities and sometimes that just means missing an event or two or staying in! You can also suggest inexpensive, fun activities with friends that don’t have to cost a ton. Whether it’s having a chill movie night, going on a hike or having a picnic, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy time with friends without hurting your wallet over it. 

So, say yes to the events that matter and be confident enough to say no to those that don’t. Embrace the JOMO! By now, you’ve realized that JOMO is really about using your time however YOU want. There are a ton of different things that can be a form of self-care and you need to figure out what works best for you. Embrace it and enjoy the financial and mental health benefits that come from feeling the joy of missing out. Remember, more financial knowledge could mean more money in your pocket, so you can afford to do more of what truly matters to you. 

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