FOMO. You may have seen this little acronym thrown around with abundance over the last couple of years- it stands for Fear Of Missing Out. Essentially, the worry you have when you think (or perceive on social media) that others are having a fun and exciting experience when you are not there. The fear that you are missing out on something great when you are absent from an event or party. This phenomenon is very common when you are sticking to a serious budget and have had to say no to a social gathering in order to save your bank balance. It can make you feel lonely and isolated when you turn down invitations because of money, but you’ll be pleased to know that there are ways to overcome this. No more sad Saturday nights with Netflix watching your friend’s insta-stories and feeling like you’re missing out on your 20’s- you’re not!
The age of social media has taken ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ to a whole new stratosphere, where we are constantly bombarded with images from friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers’ lives. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s great to see what our long-distance friends are up to, and as human beings we are nosy by nature about the lives of others- but the problem comes when we start to compare our own lives to the insta-lives of others. Most people share their life’s best moments on social media- and who’s to say that the photo of them they just posted on a Saturday night was even taken that weekend? Who knows whether they actually had a really rubbish night out, ended up hungover the next day, and regretted the whole thing? As the old saying goes- comparison is the thief of joy- and this is more relevant now than ever before.
If you’re finding yourself in a bit of a FOMO situation, instead of turning down invitations, why not be the one to offer them? London has so many free things to do (just check out my free things to do in London guides), with free events, festivals and shows every week of the year. There is something to suit every taste, and with any luck, your friends will want to try something new too! Even if you find yourself staying in next Saturday to save money, why not ask a friend to join you? You can still have fun without spending, and even if you have no one joining your Netflix cosy club, don’t feel like you are missing out, because you’re not. Use your alone time to work on yourself, recharge and most importantly enjoy catching up on Season 2 of GLOW.
When you are sticking to a strict budget, particularly when digging your way out of debt, it’s inevitable that you are going to have to steel yourself and say no to those larger expenses- that hen do abroad, the beach holiday, or the city break with your bestie. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but that same bride will be likely to also have a local hen do, and those beautiful beaches and European cities are still going to be standing in a few years’ time when you have reached your financial goals. You can set yourself a realistic goal like ‘I will be debt free by September 2020,’ and start planning your city break or beach holiday for after you’ve reached this point. You’re not missing out by postponing your holiday until you are in a better financial position, you’re still going to have a wonderful experience, but you are going to wait until your bank account is ready for it.
Reaching financial goals takes time, which is something that we are not very used to as millennials. We are used to instant gratification, Nandos at our front door in 20 minutes, instant messages, video, next day delivery, live streaming- having everything we want at our fingertips. But sadly, with stagnant wages and rising rent prices our finances tend to go in the other direction, it’s a slow and challenging climb to get out of debt, or to afford a mortgage deposit in London. Making sure that you keep some money aside in your budget for fun and socialising is really important so that you stay sane, but it’s crucial to be strict with yourself and say no when you have to. By budgeting for fun, you’re socialising and saving at the same time, and most importantly, you are NOT missing out on your 20’s. So you say no to a few gatherings here and there, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have done the right thing for YOU because whatever the financial goal that you are working towards, you can be sure that reaching that will taste far better than a Cosmopolitan.