F.O.M.O is a Four Letter Word

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think about how much we are bombarded these days with offers too good to be true. Offers that are only good for the dreaded “Limited Time Only!!” How many times have you been sucked in and opened your wallet only to be filled with regret later that the too good to be true offer was, indeed, that?

I was presented with an opportunity recently that was related to something I have been thinking about doing for a good while. It was a GREAT opportunity but, naturally, as with all things opportunity related, there was a cost involved. Not bank breaking, but not something I could ever think about spending significant money on without discussing it with the Hubs first. More on that later.

F.O.M.O. Four little letters filled with angst. For the uninitiated, F.O.M.O. is an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out. (There’s an acronym for EVERYTHING these days, isn’t there??) Infomercials are the worst offenders when it comes to stoking the F.O.M.O. flames. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gotten sucked in on occasion. There are several shelves in my basement filled with my impulse buys because it was “such a great deal!” and “I just have to have this NOW!” and the worst- “if I don’t get it NOW it won’t be here later!” I’m currently scheduling my fall yard sale.

Part of the “Older Wiser” in “Older Wiser Money Miser” comes from my thought process evolving away from the “I MUST BUY THIS NOW” mentality to being intentional my funds. Advertisers don’t make it easy, and my email is constantly filled with stores and websites generously offering their advice about how I should best spend my money. While I’ve unsubscribed from some of the more obnoxious offerings, most of the others are treated with a visit from my “DELETE” key pretty regularly. One of the perks of no longer having my satellite TV service is that I no long have access to QVC on my television. I used to keep it on for background noise and boy, are they GOOD at getting people to open their wallets! I still get their emails, and occasionally I’ll find something I need and the price is right, but I no longer subject myself to the drumbeat of the “great” deal.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s the job of the seller to sell stuff. Capitalism at its finest, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As a responsible steward of your money, however, it’s your job to determine whether you truly need what the seller is buying, and if it’s worth the price they want you to pay. Sometimes it is, but most of the time it’s not. If you’re looking at something you think you need, sleep on it. If you still want/need it in the morning, it’ll still be there. If it’s not, the world keeps turning and Life Goes On (hat tip to Todd Rundgren).

Back to that GREAT opportunity I referred to earlier. After giving it some thought, I decided that it wasn’t the right time for me to commit my hard earned funds to something I’m not 100% sure I want to do. The “old” me would’ve jumped on it and regretted it later when it didn’t pan out like I had envisioned it would. The “older wiser” me is at peace with my decision with the knowledge I can revisit it later or possibly find it somewhere else better and cheaper! That, my friends, is progress like I never thought possible for myself, and you’re struggling with F.O.M.O., it’s possible for you, too.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Author: olderwisermoneymiser

I’m a 50-something wife, mom, and full time accounting administrator sharing my observations about life and money.

17 thoughts on “F.O.M.O is a Four Letter Word”

  1. I know exactly what you mean and I also had a situation on the weekend where an opportunity presented itself. I usually jump in but this time I actually thought it through and asked myself if I really need to take this opportunity now. I’m so pleased I decided not to as it was going to be around $1,000 and although I would have enjoyed the course, it just isn’t the right time for me. We all get sucked in from time to time with these ‘too good to be true’ offers. I find though that now I’m in retirement, we want to travel more so whilst we are financially comfortable, I don’t want to ‘throw away’ money on items that will only clutter up my life. I’ve done that too often in the past. I would rather spend my money on making memories through travel. Thanks for the reminder about taking the time to think before we buy.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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  2. Having grown up on welfare with very little to spend and bound by a vow of poverty for 13 years after that, I seldom get sucked into the FOMO issue around money, but I appreciate the concept of FOMO with social media and hanging around events far longer than I really want to – FOMO – can manifest in ways that cost nothing but can still make us ‘wish we hadn’t’ later. Thanks for these thoughts. I love your blog tagline — looking forward to following you.

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  3. FOMO – shiny object syndrome… so easy to get sucked in. and I have! I think I’m much better now as I have a clearer idea of who I am and what I need. I have decided never to buy on impulse – I get up and go for a walk, or depending on the LTO, leave it for a day or two. The other thing I’ve realized is that many of those countdown timers are often evergreen – so the ‘for 24 hours only’ starts again every time you go the site. And… I’ve learned is that most great buys will come around again sooner or later.

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  4. I find that any time I leap into spending decent money on something without giving it some thought, I live to regret it. I have always been careful with our money and we are reaping the rewards now in Midlife – being debt free, having money to spare, working less – all great reasons to think before you spend and to forget about FOMO and keeping up with the Joneses (who probably have a huge c/card debt!)

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | Cresting the Hill

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  5. Marketers are amazing these days, aren’t they? I like to think I’m pretty savvy to their tricks yet I can get sucked in too. Unsubscribing or deleting those emails from my favourite retailers has definitely saved me $$$$. I no longer find out about their fabulous deals, but obviously I didn’t need anything from their store anyways…Thanks for posting! I’ve started following your blog.

    Deb

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  6. I got sucked in a while ago on one of those two amazing trips for $400 things. I learned from that that when there’s a time pressure – this deal only lasts as long as you’re on the phone – it’s time to back off! Not that the trips wouldn’t be amazing or that they’re a scam. They aren’t. But it isn’t the right time for me to travel and it was fear of missing out that got me agreeing to something that doesn’t work for me. #MLSTL

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    1. I promise you every single one of us reading this has been sucked in at one point or another. Recognizing it for what it is and resisting the temptation is a skill I’m still learning but I’m getting there! Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  7. My closets and shelves are full of FOMO items. I get sucked in a lot with free shipping just as much as I do “limited time offer”. I almost signed up for college classes last weekend because the special pricing was going to end at midnight, guess what it didn’t. Lol

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  8. Love this perspective! It is up to us to decide what we really need when it comes to purchases. Advertising does a good job at cultivating the FOMO in us if we let it. I’ve even found this with food ….. instead of jumping in the car for a trip to the food market, I pause and take a look at what I have already. Do I really need to make that trip?
    Visiting from #MLSTL and sharing on social media.
    http://www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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