Overcome FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in 7 Steps


I launched FinanceSuperhero in April 2016 to help others save money, get out of debt, earn more money, and live the best life possible. Send me an e-mail or a comment if I can help you in your journey. Thanks for reading!

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28 Responses

  1. I love this post (lots of decision making lingo!) and luckily don’t have much FOMO! I especially appreciate #7 – when you are with others, put your phone away. I have been observing this for the last few months whenever we are out. It is bad enough when friends are together and rarely look at each other when they talk. It is terrible to see parents eyes glued to their phones when their children are trying to talk to them. My kids are 17 and 20 – and if you don’t think their youth flies by – you are wrong. I make an effort to always look at them and talk to them – without phone in hand. We need to model good parenting (sorry for the rant!) I’m working on posts about satisficing and maximizing (optimizing) too – love how you used those here.

  2. FOMO can absolutely be catastrophic to wealth. When I was younger I spent WAAY to much money going out to bars and clubs because of this exact reason. Also thanks for the TED Talk, I hadn’t seen that one yet!

  3. Ah the amazing rise of FOMO. I think it’s really reached its peak with Snapchat also. The quick updates of your friends’ exact actions at that point in time bring on FOMO almost instantaneously. I have definitely seen it first hand and must say I have experienced it myself. The tips you have are great and really address what is likely the main cause – our phones and social media.

    • Hero says:

      Thanks, DE. I’ve managed to stay away from Snapchat, but I’ve seen its effects on Mrs. Superhero. She only has a few friends on that platform, but that doesn’t seem to matter much.

  4. Social media is just a life sucker. I had just about extricated myself, but then I started a blog and you just can’t shun social media if you want anyone to read the stuff you are taking time to write. There are some great things about social media, but you have to wade through a lot of nonsense to get to something that give you a genuine feeling of connection, wonder, humor or actual useful information. I have to follow numerous hard-to-stomach people on my person feeds because of my job (which is ridiculous!). Everyone is an editor or “influential” who is constantly being gifted with expensive trips, clothes, gadgets and all manner of extremely colorful desserts with their name on them. It is exhausting and it definitely leaves me with that sour feeling. I have cut down significantly in my personal life but now I need to figure out how to use social media far more efficiently for the other half of my life. Unfortunately it is a beast that does not easily lend itself to efficiency or productivity if you don’t have the necessary expertise.

  5. Really nice post, Hero.

    “Identify your values…” seems like the essential first step in enhancing life outcomes all the way around, and it’s great advice in this context.

    Nice work.

  6. Agreed that living frugally sometimes gives us FOMO. We’ve found a nice balance to making sure we still enjoy life while we’re saving for retirement. Weighing opportunity costs (as tedious as it can be) is a good way to make decisions.

    On another note we joke that my one year old niece has FOMO… Because she never naps.

    • Hero says:

      Though I’m further away from early retirement than you, I understand your perspective, JW. It is tough to tell yourself “no” when FOMO arises, as you ultimately know that the money IS there to spend.

      I got a good chuckle out of your comment on your niece; my niece and nephew are roughly the same age, and Uncle FinanceSuperhero faces the same battles. 🙂

  7. This is the first article I’ve read on your blog and wow, was it worth it. Excellent analysis and thought process.

    As far as FOMO goes, I’ve certainly noticed myself spending more on my personal line item in the budget than previously. Through college I supported myself by trading stocks and getting temporary contract work. Now being in a formal job and getting invited out by co-workers all the time, it’s hard to say no. because the trips are fun. Luckily, they all know I value saving for retirement or rental homes over one night of booze; not a lot of peer pressure comes with me saying no.

    Again, great article. I look forward to being one of your readers.

    • Hero says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Cash Flow Celt. It is great to connect with you, and I really appreciate your kind feedback!

      Though it might be hard to be honest with your co-workers and say no sometimes, I am sure they respect you for your openness. FOMO can lead even the most conscientious person to abandon values and commitments when a fun opportunity arises. Throw in some great craft beer (my kryptonite) into the equation — look out!

      If you’re looking for some good resources on decision-making, you should check out Vicki’s site (http://www.makesmarterdecisions.com/); her blog is one of my favorites.

  8. I really like the idea of staying away from social media and tech. Itll dominate your life if you aren’t careful. I love the retreats in the mountains where you can disconnect and just hang with friends .

    • Hero says:

      I really could benefit from that kind of retreat, Travis. I’m hopelessly tied to my technology, and though I can escape for about a day, I have a tough time beyond that.

  9. ZJ Thorne says:

    “Gratitude is a formidable power against FOMO.” So darn true. Looking back to what you previously had and valued can be really helpful in this regard. Remembering that you do not want what everyone else does also helps.

  10. I definitely have my optimizer / maximizer tendencies. I have found that relaxing and being OK with having less or doing less can be rewarding. Vacations really bring out the maximizer in me, when in reality, the point of vacation is supposed to be to slow down.

    The fact is no matter where we are or how we’re preoccupied, we’re always missing out on something. As long as we’re reasonably happy where we are, that’s what really matters.

    I know that my sometimes crazy work schedule makes me miss out on family and fun time. I have a plan to alleviate that situation.


  11. Thanks so much for this enlightening post!

    my answer to FOMO is
    1. create rather than consume: financially, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.
    2. multi-tasking is over-rated. as good as i’m at working 7 jobs while double-majoring and sleeping 4 hours/daily for extended period of time, i do better when i focus and harness my energy with a sense of direction.
    3. variety is the spice of life. but if there’s no commitment/substance in life, there’s nothing to spice up.
    4. what i most fear missing is really right in front of me. being in the moment and giving my 100% here and now is what will truly maximize my limited time on earth.
    5. 100% commitment frequently translates into 100% satisfaction.

    • Hero says:

      Very wise words, Dr. Wise Money. I am always happiest when creating rather consuming. If I can do both (grilling a delicious ribeye on the patio), that’s a great bonus.

  12. What a great post! Found the blog via PoF (thank you). I agree with most of what you wrote, but I’m not a big fan of budgeting. For some it may work, but for me it feels too much like a diet – chronic deprivation and limits. It definitely decreases my happiness.

    Relating this to the TED talk by Schwartz, when we have less choice (a budget) we should be happier because it is the ‘worlds fault’, but a budget is in actuality ‘our fault’. It is a self imposed set of rules, and every time we deprive ourselves of something because of the budget we are reminded of this.

    After much experimentation I like the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ approach. Convert money to time and ask yourself with each purchase if it is worth trading your time/life energy for. Instead of deprivation and confinement I have found it to be true freedom (but not in the bad paradox of choice/FOMO way). It helps me really understand opportunity cost by running my finances this way.

    • Hero says:

      Thank you very much for the feedback, THP. I’m glad you found your way here, and I look forward to checking out your site today.

      I think budgets are very much a “love them or hate them” kind of practice. I find that our budget is freeing in many ways, but I also couldn’t imagine maintaining one if I found the process to be restrictive. The Your Money or Your Life approach is one I’ve read a lot about in the past three months. Believe it or not, I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s near the top of my reading list because it comes so highly recommended.

  13. I really enjoyed this post. Did you read Mr Money Moustache’s recent post about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? If you haven’t, go check it out because it goes well with these ideas.

    Also I love my budget and while I think it helps me say no when I need to, it also helps me to say yes. I have an entertainment budget that is intended for doing fun things with family and friends (and not miss out!). I CAN say yes sometimes and still meet my bigger financial goals. I think that’s the larger value in a budget… Freedom to say yes sometimes (but not too often!)

    • Hero says:

      Thanks for the great feedback, Cindy. The Mr. Money Mustache post you referenced is one of my favorites. I wish he wrote more often these days.

      “… while I think it helps me say no when I need to, it also helps me to say yes.” What a great quote, and 100% accurate! I have always found this to be true, as well.

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