Millennials: Is FOMO Stealing Your Financial Independence?Apr 22, 2015
You’re a young Canadian, falling somewhere between the ages of 18 to 34, digitally literate, connected through social media, and in debt. Some of your debt may be attributed to student loan debt or a vehicle loan, but what about the rest? Has spending beyond your means led you to rack up consumer debt such as credit card debt? Are you overspending because you experience FOMO or a fear of missing out? If the answer is yes, you are not alone, and it might be a good idea to consider how this overspending could be affecting you and your financial independence. Millennials, let’s talk about FOMO and its financial impact.
Spending, social media and FOMO
If you experience FOMO and spend beyond your means as a result, you can probably partially blame social media. When you are constantly exposed to status updates on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram detailing fun concerts, dinners at expensive restaurants, or amazing trips, it can be hard for even the most financially disciplined to not spend money in an effort to ‘keep up’. In fact, almost 70 per cent of Millennials admit that they often make a reactive purchase after experiencing feelings of FOMO. In addition, FOMO could even be changing the way you think about debt. Approximately 33 per cent of Millennials view credit cards as additional spending money rather than a costly form of borrowing.
FOMO and financial independence
With all this FOMO spending, it’s not a surprise that many Millennials are struggling with debt and finding it difficult to manage financially on their own. Many Millennials are also delaying moving out on their own because of affordability and the debt they carry. Additionally, an increasing number of Millennials are relying on mom and dad to help them financially, including purchasing a new home.
Let’s talk FOMO
Your goal likely isn’t to live with or depend on mom and dad forever, but high debt levels can make it harder and harder to make it on your own. It’s also tough out there – high student debt burdens, a tough job market and a shaky economy mean that Millennials are facing many financial pressures that can get in the way of their financial goals.
This tough economic climate faced by today’s Millennial generation means that it’s even more important to be smart about your spending, and to avoid spending beyond your means. That means avoiding FOMO. Cutting yourself off from social media is unlikely, but talking about and sharing your financial problems and plans could help to avoid it. Discuss your lifestyle affordability with friends to give them a better sense of what you can afford to spend. Talking with your parents about your financial plans could also be a good way to deal with FOMO.
If you feel unable to manage your debt, talking with a debt relief professional could also be beneficial. They can help you choose a debt reduction strategy, such as creating a workable budget or consolidating your debt in order to make your loans more manageable. It’s a good way to help you get back on track and work towards financial independence.
Does FOMO make it harder for you to be financially independent? Share your thoughts with BDO Sault Ste. Marie. #LetsTalkFOMO