I would guess the first thing you are thinking reading this is, “what is FOMO?!”. Well let me tell you, FOMO stands for Fear of Missing out. This is a real fear and its growing for mid 20-somethings. I know this simply due to my own social circle, let alone what I get from my larger Facebook/Twitter circle and even larger what I would imagine is going on around the country in our age group. FOMO seems to have started as a branch off from the popular YOLO and while I cannot cite any academic sources giving their origin, I can say these are popular acronyms in today’s 2013 world we live in. What they mean seems to also hold true. Are you missing out on nights out, adventurous, weekend trips or events with friends due to your student loan debt holding back what you can or cannot afford to do? Do you feel like you have to take it all in now because you do only live once and once your done being 20, 25 or even 28 you won’t be 20, 25 or 28 ever again? As crazy as this might sound to some, to others, including myself, its really not that far fetched.
Fear of Missing out
This is a legitimate fear. I mean, fear might be a bit of an overstatement, but FOMO just sounds good and when you explain it, it fits. I am the type of person who likes to go out and do things. Sounds simple enough, but to do just about anything today it costs money and the more you want to do the more money it will cost. Living just outside of Boston, life isn’t cheap and neither are the things you may want to do around here. It’s tough to get tickets to any of our sports games under $40+ (aside from the Celtics right now since they are looking abysmal). Going into Boston for a night can cost around $25 just to park + the cost of food/drinks + the cost of anything else you may want to do aside from drinking and eating in the city. Trust me, there is a lot more in Boston then bars and college kids. When you see friends going out nightly, Facebooking and Tweeting about their nights out, waking up at noon and going to work while you have been in your cube since 8 am things can really add up and bring you to feel like you are truly missing out on things you wont be able to make up for later. It does become tough and at times depressing to not be able to go out due to your debt’s causing a shortage of spendable cash. You should not become too discouraged by these feelings and realize you are certainly not alone in your efforts towards success and financial independence.
You Only Live Once
This is a fact of life, you do only live once, unless there is something someone out there knows that I don’t? Would be pretty cool! That is a different topic though. To put this into total perspective. The Boston Red Sox just wrapped up the season of a lifetime. From worst to first with a world series win to cap off a remarkable and long baseball season. The teamed enjoyed home field advantage throughout the playoffs which meant Fenway Park would be packed with fans upwards of 35,000 people for each game at record setting ticket prices. While I was not able to attend any of the games, I would have loved to. The experience of a lifetime for sure, however, then I got the argument that us Boston-folk are a bit spoiled in that regard since we have had more championship wins in the city within the past decade then anywhere else. You do only live once and while we may not see another World Series win for a long time, is the cost to go to the one game worth what you would have to sacrifice for it? The answer is really a double edged sword and is highly dependent on the individual situation. Being able to afford a night out at the World Series is probably not a cash night, rather a credit card night. This does add to your debt load, but you only live once! This is the World-freaking-Series!
Throughout my financial journey I always remind myself I refuse to miss out and/or give up on opportunities that may not present themselves again. I know this means that at various times of the year I spend more then I would like and add to my debt a bit, but I work extra hard to follow up the spending with additional income or heavily reduced expenses to justify. I believe that YOLO and I do have a slight FOMO. Instead of going to the World Series games with friends I spent significantly less and enjoyed the games out at bars with good company. I made due with the cards that were dealt and all in all it was a great few weeks of playoff Baseball.
What about you? Do you have a FOMO? How are you dealing with it?