As evidenced by warnings to avoid keeping up with the Joneses, the fear of missing out, or FOMO as it is known today, has long posed a threat to finances. With the advent of social media, however, FOMO has become more prevalent – and people are financially overextending themselves more than ever before as a result. You can protect yourself and your finances from this phenomenon by becoming aware of the problem and taking smart steps to halt the urge to indulge in this fear.
Challenge the Feelings of FOMO That Threaten Your Finances
When you notice that your financial decisions aim to resolve your fear of missing out, you are already in the danger zone. You must challenge the feelings of FOMO to stay on top of your perceptions and keep those fears from inciting financial action. Trying to resolve these fears with spending outside your budget will only serve to land you in hot water over time. You can ensure this does not happen by creating positive boundaries for your social life and finances.
Create Positive Boundaries for Your Social Life and Finances
Your social life and finances can benefit from some healthy boundaries that help you maintain realistic perceptions and stay on budget. With social media, it is important to realize that the vast majority only post the highlights of their lives. They actively avoid posting anything negative, making them look like they are living the dream on a shoestring budget. The truth could not be further from reality for most, however. If you find certain individuals’ posts triggering, and cannot temper FOMO from creeping in, you can unfollow them without them knowing.
You can create boundaries for your finances by budgeting for absolutely everything you pay for and purchase. You should set clear and concise financial goals to guide your saving and spending activities. As you budget for big purchases, or think outside the box to achieve your goals, you can still share your successes and avoid missing out without decimating your finances.
Utilize Smart Budgeting Practices – and Stick with Them Through the Tough Times
Although creating and following a strict budget sounds easy on paper, it can take some adjustment time to become a lasting habit. Although you can use paper ledgers to record and monitor your budget, software programs offer much more utility. Through We Branch, for example, you can input your expenses and receive a summary showing your success in sticking to your budget. When creating your budget, remember to allocate funds for your savings, bills and daily expenses first, and then assign a small portion to a fund for big purchases. You can also put a small amount in your savings for future large bills to evenly spread out your expenses across the year.
With the right approach, you can maximize the health of your finances without allowing the fear of missing out to take over. To get started, take the time to look at your social activities and financial health to make a plan that will work for you.