Let’s discuss FOMO from the angle of money with a dash of life in general. Yes, that’s right I’m tackling a write-up on “How To Deal With Money FOMO”. I think a lot of what I’m currently seeing on social media and at work inspired me to write this.
FOMO stands for “fear of missing out”. The irony would have it I just learned what this was a few months ago. Maybe I am just getting old or not read in enough on all the new cool terms these days. Whatever it might be I now know what it is and have seen that it’s a serious issue today.
A few recent events inspired me to write up this post. I know social media can be what we call an “echo chamber”. Meaning you are only seeing and hearing from people you follow. Yet I also have a lot of interaction with people at work. Arguably most are in their 30s to the age of 18. Which I like because it gives me a wide range of experience with people.
I teach financial classes at work to some of the Marines. I often see the same questions and most of them revolve around FOMO. Maybe you have the same questions or have heard the same ones. Here are some of the questions and one-liners I see.
- Did you see how much GME went up?
- My friend made $4,000 investing in Dogecoin.
- How can I make money fast?
- What is the fastest way to get rich?
- This stock just went up 300%.
- I wish I would have invested more into that one investment.
- Did you hear about this investment I hear it’s about to get big?
- Elon Musk will be on SNL so Dogecoin has to go up.
I’m sure many of you know what the acronym FOMO stands for, yet I think it’s interesting what the more detailed definition is.
What Exactly Is FOMO?
We all have our own ideas and thoughts on what FOMO means to us. Below is a great description and probably the best one I have seen to date.
‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’. Under this framing of FoMO, nearly three quarters of young adults reported they experienced the phenomenon.
The above quote I got from a TIMES article, gives tips on dealing with regular FOMO. Give that article a view with this link “Check out these tips on dealing with FOMO from time.com“.
That first line where it mentions “all-consuming feeling” is a powerful description. It really gives you a visual of why FOMO can be so deadly to your finances. It’s basically just that feeling that overwhelms you. The feeling comes from seeing friends or people in your social circle who you feel are doing better, know something you don’t, or possess something better.
Which brings me back to “How to deal with money FOMO?”.
The very first thing we must do is admit these feelings. They are perfectly normal and the best of us will get that at times. By acknowledging that we have these feeling it will help us better understand them and ourselves. This is a key step when figuring out how to deal with money FOMO. This will also help with just regular FOMO not just money FOMO.
I like to take a moment and breathe in deep, then slowly breathe out. I try to let my stomach fill up with air as I focus my mind on my breath and how my belly feels filling up with air. As I breathe out I feel the stress leaving the body and then tension in my muscles slowly releasing.
This allows my mind to refocus and my body to be in a position of self-awareness. It’s basically taking a few moments to meditate. Often we make some of the worse choices when we just react vs allowing ourselves time to collectively think.
Once we understand this we can get to the core root of the problem. Which is the feeling of unhappiness. That is the root cause of FOMO, it’s also the first step in how to deal with money FOMO. We must be able to realize this feeling is just us being unhappy at that moment. That feeling is ok and a normal part of life.
To correct it and get past it we just need to realign our values and what makes us happy. For me that is time outside, working out, time with our dogs, or just some alone time with my wife. What do you value and what makes you happy?
After we come to terms with our feeling and are able to realign our values and happiness we must educate ourselves about money. I mean that in an all-encompassing way. Having a general knowledge or understanding of financial literacy is the next step to this puzzle of how to deal with money FOMO.
With so much information in the personal finance space, anyone could get paralyzed by too much information. Also, I have seen people just get overwhelmed thinking they are not “smart enough” to be good with money or to learn how. This goes back to step one breathe, acknowledge the feeling and overcome that limiting belief.
Where can someone start to understand the basics of personal finance in an era of too much information and a lot of bad information out there?
I’d start with reading books, listening to podcasts, getting involved with financial Facebook groups and lastly, even Youtube is a great option. Try each one and see which ones you like to learn from better. Pick your top three and start there. Take thirty minutes to an hour every day to learn. That can be as easy as a podcast on your way to work all the way to read a book for thirty minutes before bed.
I promise you will start to get better and more confident with money. Your eyes will open up to another world and you will never view life around you the same! Do you see how to deal with money FOMO can also change every aspect of your life yet? I know it did for me in every way possible.
Let’s do a quick recap on how to deal with money FOMO. First, you must admit that FOMO is a feeling and that is ok, then you must overcome that limiting belief. We do that by slowly learning thirty minutes at a time until it compounds and we have a general concept and confidence in our financial literacy. What comes next is also another hard stepping stone.
You must take action with the knowledge you have. That action should be consistent, simple, repeatable, but most importantly it must be sustainable. If your actions are not sustainable they will not last. This is true for saving, investing, reading, learning, and anything else you can think of. The simpler and funnier it is the more sustainable it becomes for everyone.
Your actions should be with the focus of your values and what brings you happiness. For me again that is freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity for more choices.
The more I have invested, the more my money works for me when I sleep, the more compounding does the heavy lifting vs me the more willing I am to believe that this system works and the more willing I will be to stick to it no matter what others are doing around me. When I see someone brag on Facebook about a 200% return on a crypto coin I will be thankful for my 10% average return on my wealth.
The beauty is we acknowledge our feelings, overcame our limiting beliefs, took action to put a simple sustainable system in place that aligns with our values, and watch the results of our labor.
That is the beauty of how to deal with money FOMO.
Last Thoughts On How To Deal With Money FOMO
From here I say teach others the steps once you get comfortable and want to share. Some of my most valued moments are helping others with this and watching as they grow and learn more. On the other side personally keep learning to breathe and understand your feeling, overcome limiting beliefs, take action in a simple yet sustainable way. Be proud of what you have learned and how far you have come.
Sit back have a cold beer if that is your thing and watch as your money FOMO fades away and you are no longer phased by others around you. Eventually, those people will seek you out for mentorship as you will be sitting on a nice wealth stash.
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