How FOMO Spending is Affecting You

How FOMO Spending is Affecting You

Are you a FOMO spender?


Not sure what that is?


Well, let’s unpack a couple of questions and find out.


Do you shell out a couple more notes than necessary on drinks with the girls? Do you order too many drinks while watching the game with the boys? Your favorite band is in town and you have to go to the concert? Road trip at the end of the month? Count you in? Do you find yourself always saying ‘yes’ to plans that involve spending money, even though sometimes you should be saying ‘no’? Is the reason you always say ‘yes’ because you want to go or you’re afraid of missing out?


If the answer is ‘yes’, then I’m afraid you’re a FOMO spender.


This means that your fear of missing out is affecting decisions on how you spend your money. 


A 2020 study in the US came to find that nearly 50% of millennials were spending money they didn’t have to keep up with their friends. While this may seem frivolous in the sense that, an extra drink, or a concert ticket, or a couple of beers at the bar, may not seem significant in the larger scheme of financial planning, but it does. 


FOMO spending adds up and when you do the math, it can deter you from long-term saving and investment plans. If you’re spending KES. 6000- KES. 10,000 (USD$60-$100) on food and drinks with friends each weekend you’re spending upwards of KES. 24,000- KES 40,000 (USD $240- $400) a month on FOMO spending. While that may seem a lot or a little depending on your monthly income, what I can tell you is that it’s a lot of money that can be used towards more fruitful financial ventures. 


Another thing, while it may seem like it, FOMO spending isn’t about you, it’s about other people. 


It’s about spending money on things other people want to do because you’re afraid of missing out on something great. It’s not about spending money on something you want to do after much careful planning and decision-making. FOMO spending doesn’t just affect your wallet and deter you from building sustainable wealth, a lot of people fail to realize that money plays just as much of a role in mental health as it does in fiscal wellness. While money is the currency we use to purchase basic necessities, such as shelter, food, and transport, it also functions as the currency we use to access extra leisures that we feel add value to our quality of life.  For example, books, gym memberships, music lessons, get-away vacations, and other non-essential leisures. There is a significant difference in mental wellness when you spend money on things you actually want versus spending money on things other people want. It’s no surprise that recent studies have shown that FOMO and by default FOMO spending can increase anxiety, inferiority complexes, mood swings, loneliness, and other depression-related issues. 


As we wrap up the year and December quickly approaches, I’m sure there are lots of trips and various activities being thrown your way. That being said,  it’s important to ask yourself, are you spending out of want for yourself or want for others? How is this costing you financially and mentally?


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