The real cost of FOMO

The spicy stuff
January 17, 2020

Sheridan

Content Writer

With payday almost in sight, we're here to give you that little bit of extra encouragement to stay loyal to your money resolutions, and resist the temptation of FOMO-fueled spending.

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out as it is more eloquently known, is the acronym at the core of a millennial inability to save. Well that and breakfast foods, apparently. 

In more recent times and publications, we have supposedly replaced it with JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out, but I honestly just don’t know.

Let me give you a rather extreme scenario.

Say you’ve sat down at the start of the month and calculated that if you stick to spending £100 a week, you’ll save enough money to afford your trip to Munic for Oktoberfest. 

On your way to work, your friend, let’s call him Steve, WhatsApps the group chat saying he’s organising a bottomless brunch and everyone’s in. You couldn’t bear to stay home and watch them throw back mimosa after mimosa on Instagram, so you transfer the £39. 

But it’s fine, it’s fine; you’ve prepared your lunch today, just keep with the savvy habits. Alas, you arrive at your desk and read a memo that the whole office is going for lunch for John’s birthday. £13. 


At lunch, they’re all talking about this ‘EPIC’ new series called The Morning Show which is only available on Apple TV. So, you make a mental note to get a subscription. £4.99.  

When you return to your desk, you receive an email about a 24 hours flash sale on ClassPass memberships - damn targeted advertising. You buckle under the pressure of missing out on the deal. £63.99. 

Finally, when you think it can’t get any worse - Elton John, your hypothetical favourite artist, announces his final tour. Tickets are guaranteed to sell out. This is your last chance to see him. You’re sweating now. £80. 

And just like that, the debilitating fear of missing out has cost you £200 and your trip to Munich. 

No girdle for you, pal.


FOMO costs us an extra £500 a year

According to Your Money, a third of Brits overspend due to FOMO, costing us almost £9 billion a year in fear-fueled spending.

What’s worse is a quarter of spenders are putting themselves into debt in the process, with a third saying they then turn to credit to accommodate their lifestyle.

When we lack a disciplined and achievable method to save, instances such as the burden to keep up with your friends or the latest trends endanger your finances.

FOMO is primarily based on the need for social validation, with social media amplifying feelings of inadequacy and anxiety- it's the reason why we religiously check our when we wake up, on the toilet, on a date, while we're driving; why we say yes to things before we have the time to check our balance and make realistic commitments.

The antidote?

Commence self-investigation

Ask yourself, 'do I genuinely want to do this?'.

Do you value this expense higher than your goal? Can you afford it?

Before you respond, check in with yourself to see whether or not you are agreeing for the right reason

Set a SMART goal

Not knows-the-alphabet-back-to-front. Instead, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based.

You are more likely to slack on a goal titled 'holiday', than if you tell yourself you want to book your £250 accommodation in Munic by March 31st.

The 'I only have to be strict until April' will weigh up better than 'I will just push it back'.

You can keep track of these in the Chip app 😉

Disconnect to reconnect

Set yourself a challenge of not checking your phone when you first wake up, or a handy tool is switching on the 'Do Not Disturb' feature to prevent you from checking your phone every time you get a notification.

Social media is the breeding ground for FOMO, so put yourself in quarantine for a few hours a day.

Say 'no' more often

You've heard it all before. Like here.

No one will going to unfriend you (other wise you need a new friendship group).

'Do not feel guilty for putting yourself and your finances first. It may feel uncomfortable initially, but trust the process.'

But most importantly...

It is normal to have FOMO.

It is normal to go astray from your budget.

It is normal to spend money on the unexpected.

Sometimes the best things come from the spontaneous spends.

Don't feel bad for the things you've already done. Enjoy them for what they were. Just be more mindful of what you do with your hard earned money in the future.

Anyway. That's enough nuggets of wisdom from us. Chip's here to make sure you have some cash saved up, so if you do spend all your money whilst drunk, we've got your back.

250,000 downloads already. Get Chip today.

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