How to Handle #FOMO When Everyone Is Having Fun But You

Date posted: Sept. 16, 2016

Photo Credit: Kevin Curtis


FOMO (fear of missing out) is on the rise, and it’s hitting millennials hardest in the wallet. A recent survey from found that 26 percent of survey respondents admitted that FOMO hurts their finances, and 70 percent attribute some of their debt from overspending due to FOMO.

FOMO is real, and if you've ever tried to scale back your spending to put more money towards your financial goals, odds are you've experienced it.

So if you are trying to pay off debt or save for a home, how can you ensure that FOMO doesn’t get in the way? How can you handle your FOMO and reach your financial goals, when it seems like everyone is having fun but you?

Fortunately, I have a lot of practice in this arena. I’ve been working towards different financial goals, from paying off debt to saving for a home, and have become adept at handling my fear of missing out when I have to say no to invitations from friends for the sake of my finances.

Here are my top tips for dealing with FOMO when everyone seems to be having fun but you:

Stay Off Social Media

In our digital age, it often seems like every concert, event and restaurant outing is meticulously documented and then shared through social media. When the details of your friends' social lives are so readily available, FOMO can be hard to avoid.

To help ease the FOMO you may be experiencing, stay off social media. If you don’t see the photos and social media updates, you will be less likely to feel that you are missing out.

Stay Busy

If you constantly have to say no to invitations from friends for dinners, drinks or other events, consider filling that time with a meaningful task or hobby. Since you’ll have more free time on your hands, you can now start freelancing, pick up a second job, or tackle that home project you’ve been putting off.

By filling up your days with activities, you’ll have less time to dwell on the fact that your friends are having fun without you.

Make Your Home the Place to Be

FOMO tends to be worse if you don’t enjoy your life outside of spending time (and money) with friends. Help yourself avoid FOMO by making your home a restful, relaxing place to be.

I often decline invitations from friends in the name of saving money, and I love staying home instead. I’ve worked to make my home a great place to spend a Saturday night, and as a result, there is almost nothing I would rather do than be curled up on my couch with a good movie or book.

Learn to be Comfortable With Discomfort

Sometimes, there is nothing you can do about FOMO except learn to live with it. Sure, there are many coping techniques, but to get ahead financially, you are going to have to say no to your friends, and sometimes it is just going to plain old suck.

But that is ok! Sometimes life is supposed to be hard, and you need to learn to handle that discomfort. By letting yourself experience FOMO without giving and spending your hard earned money, you’ll be a stronger, more disciplined person.

This willpower will translate to other areas of your life such as your finances and your job performance. By learning the value of delaying purchases for the future gratification of meeting financial goals, you are ingraining habits that will set you up for success in life.

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