FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out

Updated: December 26, 2023

A friend of mine posted this on Twitter: “Using my 13th-month pay to get the new iPhone on Friday. #YOLO

Just in case you’ve been living an actual life and missing out on what’s happening in cyberspace lately, YOLO means You Only Live Once.

And today, aside from YOLO, I’ll share with you another urban dictionary acronym that’s being used today in social networks:

FOMO means the Fear of Missing Out.

FOMO? Fear of missing out? Surely, I don’t have that fear. I’m not afraid of anything!

Are you sure? Let’s see.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you constantly check Facebook, Twitter, and your other social networks, hoping that you’ll see an important, funny, or interesting status update or message from your friends?
  • Do you feel envious and inadequate whenever you see travel and vacation photos of your friends on social networks?
  • Do you experience restlessness and anxiety whenever you’re just at home during weekends, thinking that you should be out and having fun?
  • Do you find it hard to refuse an invitation to go to a party or event, even if it means complicating your schedule?
  • Do you hate missing out on watching the latest episode of your favorite TV show or not being able to catch the newest blockbuster hit at the movies?
  • Do you like having the latest products because you want to take pride in being the first among your friends to own that newly-released gadget model or having an item from that recently-opened brand store?
  • Do you buy something not because you need it but simply because everyone you know already has it?

If you answered more “Yes” above, then you’re suffering from a serious case of FOMO – and you should cure it now.

What happens when you let FOMO rule your life?

Your productivity will suffer because you’re spending too much time doing things you don’t really need to do – like checking out Facebook instead of actually working or going out with friends all the time instead of getting your needed rest at home.

You will experience unnecessary stress because you’ll feel pressured to work harder so you can earn more money – but only so you can afford to buy the latest smartphone, go on that expensive vacation, or try that posh restaurant.

You lose money, which you could have put in an investment or used to pay your credit card debts – because you just spent it on something you don’t really need or paid a higher price for something you could have bought cheaper if you waited a few more months.

So okay, we’ve established that having FOMO or the “fear of missing out” is bad. So, how do you manage and get rid of it?

A bad case of FOMO? Do these:

Acknowledge the truth
Accept that you have FOMO. As always, being honest with yourself and admitting that you have the problem is the first step.

Learn to say NO
Say “NO”, especially to yourself. The only way to discover that you’re not really missing out on anything is actually to miss out on the things you thought you needed.

Do something fulfilling
FOMO usually comes when you find yourself doing nothing. So, start a hobby or work on a personal project – do something that gives you a sense of fulfillment – you’ll be too busy feeling good and having fun to worry about missing out on trivial stuff.

Support your goals
Define and work on a long-term goal because it helps overcome FOMO temptations. Always ask yourself before buying or doing something out of FOMO, how will this contribute to achieving your goals in life?

Value yourself
Your measure is not dictated by the things you own – it is defined by the principles you uphold and the actions you do every day. Give yourself more credit and be known not for the things you have but for who you are as a person.

The fear of missing out is an enemy of financial freedom. Discover the other things that could hinder you from achieving wealth by checking out this list.

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Photo credits: Sam UL and gorillaradio


  1. Great post, Sir Fitz! I suffered from FOMO a few years ago but then I realized that the fear of missing out oftentimes makes life complicated. In my case, I often felt envious to people who are always updated on what’s mainstream in society. Now, I find shutting myself from some of the worldly things (like going to movies, spur-of-the-moment travels or buying new gadgets all the time) liberating and stress-free. By the way, will it be alright if I put you on my blog list? =D

  2. Tweet: “Used my #13th month bonus to buy #mutualfunds!”
    Tweet: “Earned 33% today at #citiseconline after 7 months of buying stocks using #cost-averaging and tips from #ready to be rich and #bosanchez!”

    happy holidays, everyone!!!

  3. @Mercid
    I agree… “unplugging” (that’s how I call it) is liberating and stress-free – and it actually gives you more time to focus on the more important things in life.

    And of course, it’s alright for you to put me on your blog list. I just added yours only RSS, I love your crafts and handiwork posts btw. 😀

    I wish more people are tweeting that way. Happy holidays to you too! 😀

  4. very nice article fitz! I’ve been reading your blogs since ive started investing in stocks.. and everyday as i checked my email, I always first read the mail from you..

  5. […] Because I have a frugal mindset, I don’t feel pressured to keep up with fads and trends, and I no longer feel envious when my friends have the latest gadgets – I’m simply happy for them, and don’t feel stressed about “missing out” […]

  6. * Television programming became so bad in the US that I cut it off except if someone wanted to watch the news. It has been so many years now I really can not remember when I did that. I never bought a TV when I moved to the Philippines, I actually have way too much to do these days!!! Always disliked how folks would have the “electronic time waster” blaring and then try to carry on a conversation. For me, TV destroys the art of great conversation where people really listen to one another.

    * I developed an immunity to stupid purchases. My attitude: “I can afford ANYTHING I WANT, as long as I HAVE THE CASH TO PAY FOR IT.”

    * Over the years, I have seen a lot of newbie investors develope FOMO as markets make new highs. Yes, you should be purchasing strong stocks making new 52 week highs. You should also have a plan on how to enter new trades such as a pullback to the bottom of the Keltner channel or the bottom of the Bollinger band. If the stock does not pullback and begin to rebound off some support level, a moving average or the channels I mentioned, the trend could be over and it is time to stay away and NOT enter a new trade. The cure for stock market FOMO? Develop a disciplined approach to your investing.

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