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Six ways to stop the fear of missing out affecting your finances

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Time to read: 4 minutes

Finances organised and budgeting scoped out, but still can’t seem to get your money where you’d like it to be? If you’re a sociable, outgoing person who loves to live in the moment, FOMO could be partly to blame. FOMO, or the “fear of missing out”, can really motivate us to get up, out and in on the fun – even if we don’t really have the funds to back it up.

FOMO can strike at any time, be it when you’re scrolling through social media catching up on what your friends and family are up to, or after an invite that you know deep down it would be best to decline. Once it does, it can be tricky to stick within budget – but don’t worry, we’ve put together six tips to help you fight back and stay on track with your financial goals.

Learn to say 'no' (and know when to say 'yes')

If you’re invited along on an exciting endeavour that you can’t afford, it can be difficult to decline, as missing out on the experience can be disappointing - and it can be equally as hard if you feel like you’re letting your friends down.

If you’re willing to share with the person inviting you that it doesn’t quite fit your finances, you’d be surprised about how understanding others can be. If you’re not, mastering a polite decline, showing appreciation for the invite, and proposing a back-up plan for another time or activity could really improve your confidence when saying ‘no’.

That being said, saying ‘yes’ occasionally is also not a bad thing as it creates a better balance between financial responsibility and enjoyment. If you can look at your budget and choose some plans that won’t get in the way of your financial goals, you could feel great about your spending while still getting to join in on the fun – it’s a win win really. Plus, you could remind yourself you already have plans in place to look forward to if you do have to turn something down in the meantime. 

Set a rainy day budget

You might really fancy joining your friends or family on that day out, but your current budget doesn’t really make it clear if there’s room to give in to FOMO on this occasion.

If you can, why not consider putting some money aside in your budget, just for those unexpected moments? Splitting the budget for non-essential spends can really help you get the most out of your income. Knowing you’ve saved up money for those rainy day adventures can boost your financial confidence, and it coud help you feel more spontaneous without splurging. 

Book ahead

The feeling that you’re missing out can be a little unpredictable, so why not combat it with some good old fashioned organisation? Booking plans ahead could help you have a great time without creating a negative financial impact.

You can often get savings by booking holidays and events early – for example, events sometimes offer a cheaper ‘first tier’ ticket available in advance, and sometimes flight providers offer discounts for flights booked well ahead. Planning in advance could also allow you more time to spread the cost and save up an allowance to spend while you’re there. 

Cut the costs

Looking for ways to get out and have fun without spending money is another option when trying to stop your fear of missing out from affecting your finances. With a little bit of research and brainstorming, it’s surprising how much is possible without blowing the budget – it’s also great to have a free suggestion ready if you’re invited along to a potentially pricey day out.

Why not invite your pals to go for a walk in the countryside, swimming in the sea, or to a free online yoga class? 

Show gratitude

If your FOMO manifests itself as the need to buy must-have items to keep up with your friends, it can help to pause, take a look around and feel thankful for the things you already have.

If fashion is your thing, why not go through your wardrobe and think about different ways you can style the pieces you already have? Rearranging your furniture can also help you feel a new-found appreciation for your things, too. Gratitude and a fresh perspective could be all it takes to stop feeling like you’re missing out, and realise less is often more.

Find the root of your FOMO

With the ever-increasing popularity of social media and the ease of sharing incredible moments in an instant, a carefully-created social media feed can be sure to induce FOMO.

Even if you’re not usually swayed by what others are doing, seeing your friends post a picture of the dancefloor can get anyone up off the sofa and out the door, spending money in minutes.

If you think social media could be driving your FOMO, remember you can adjust the settings so you don’t see certain posts. You could even try uninstalling some apps at weekends to give yourself (and your money) a real break from the fear of missing out. 

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