I have this strong desire of writing about FOMO because I’ve fallen for this hideous trap, which has led me to lose a pretty penny! Or pretty pennies, if such an idiom exists. Since this platform is a Personal Finance blog, you bet, you can actually experience FOMO and put a strain on your finances without even knowing it. I won’t be shying away from sharing some of my failures because it is through these kinds of posts that my readers can learn and equip themselves from committing the same mistakes I did.

What is FOMO?

FOMO is not just a cool acronym. It actually stands for the Fear Of Missing Out.

Imagine your telephone ringing off the hook. The longer you keep the phone ringing, the more and more you experience the FOMO. Because you feel that you are about to miss something or someone important if you don’t pick up the phone immediately. This analogy can also be taken in a financial perspective. You have this anxiety and perception that you might be losing an opportunity if you don’t emulate what your peers are doing. Here’s the definition of FOMO from Wikipedia:

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is described as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.


I’ve dealt with A LOT of instances where the FOMO won and got the best of me, particularly in investing my hard-earned cash. I’ve narrowed them down into 2 just to show you my point:

FOMO Experience no. 1

I was in my early 20s, fresh out of college and ready to conquer my quaint little world when I got enticed to join a sophisticated MLM. They claimed to be offering innovative franchising. They sold their image using famous artists, professionals of different industries, and those from top universities and entrepreneurship.

Now if you were as gullible as I was back then, you too would get so hyped with all their passive income generating schemes, cultivated sense of belongingness, business coaches, and prolly their elite members that show off their glamorous lifestyles.

I wasn’t really well-versed with MLMs at that time. Being so naive and clueless, seeing new recruits every week made me think that I should rush into becoming a member too.

Oh the good ‘ol days when I thought I knew everything I was getting myself into

You see, I was like “If I don’t get into this business soon, other members might end up tapping on my network of friends first before I do.

I better do something quick before other people saturate my market!

I took the plunge and shelled out a

SIX-FIGURE amount to be part of their so-called “business”. And right then and there, my FOMO hit me real hard!

The worst part is, I fell for their MLM verbiage twice! The second time around, I shelled out an additional P70k.

See how much of an idiot I was?

Where has my FOMO taken me?

Nowhere.

Regretfully, I just lost PXXX,XXX.xx and their overpriced products are sitting idle at home, rotting. That amount could have been used somewhere more worthwhile had I not let my FOMO infiltrate my mind.

As much as I would want to give ammunition against them, a handful of them are still Facebook friends with me and I’d hate to burn bridges. But if you’re one of them reading this, hi but I’m sorry I really have to warn people of the possibility of them joining your business using your hype and arcane information.

FOMO Experience No.2

On another note, when I entered the world of stock investing, I carefully planned my strategy and kept notes on what stocks to trade and make part of my portfolio.

My curiosity aroused when I started reading public forums of which particular stock(s) to buy, sell or hold. With all the hype and advice from strangers who seem to be smart and others who are uhmmm… smarty pants, I started to neglect my own stock investing strategy and question my capabilities.

Again, where has my FOMO taken me?

Nowhere.

I was left looking at my portfolio painted in bloody red. Sourgraping didn’t do much to ease my anxiety. So I convinced myself to redeem my shares, despite the losses, and just call it a day.


FOMO in Investing

You would notice that this blog – as stated in its mission – will encourage you to live a life you love while still being able to invest, on a budget you understand and can afford.

Yes, I encourage you to invest because doing so is the fastest way in reaching your financial goals. Of course, unless you win the lottery, which has a slimmer chance of happening compared to being struck by lightning.

There are a lot of financial bloggers, self-proclaimed gurus, and netizens claiming to be investing too and motivating you to do the same. You’ve probably been bombarded with too much advice and encouragement to take advantage of compounding interest – enough to shove it down your throat.


But you see, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should delve into any investment vehicle in just a blink of an eye because everyone is doing it.

Like in any investment book, you are always reminded to do your due diligence first and to refrain from mimicking others.

As much as this blog is peppered with links of different learning materials, everything has a correspinding learning curve and it is your responsibility to attain that level of satisfaction in learning first before taking my advice or other investors’ advice.

Remember that we are all wired differently. Your goals, risk appetite, age and investment horizon may differ from mine.

FOMO in our Lives

When it comes to personal aspects of our lives, you may not notice that FOMO can also devour you in the following scenarios:

  • seeing your peers joining a business doesn’t mean you should instantly drag your feet into it right away
  • seeing your peers getting married doesn’t mean you should ditch your standards and settle for the next guy that comes by
  • seeing your friends having babies doesn’t mean you should rush into having your own soon without assessing your financial capability.

I can go on with many more examples, but I know you get my point.

Turning FOMO into JOMO

As per dictionary.com:

JOMO is an acronym for joy of missing out and describes the pleasure of taking a break from social activity–especially social media–to enjoy personal time.

happy ethnic woman playing synthesizer sitting on couch at home


5 tips on how to harness your inner JOMO :

1. Practice gratitude

It is in knowing what you already have that the fear of not having everything vanishes.

Contentment. Satisfaction. But still having that burning desire to improve thyself, without putting your finances at stake.

2. Limit using social media

With all the sheer amount of pictures depicting perfect lives, it is no wonder why the emergence of FOMO has risen. You see what other people have and what they are doing and so, you want the same.

Remember, too much of a good thing is bad and detrimental to one’s health.

In case you’re wondering, here’s what I do:

  • On my instagram account, I found a Personal Finance Community where I have online like-minded friends who share the same philosophy. This allows me to steer my sense of direction towards things that inspire me instead of meddling in people’s lives whom I barely know.
  • When using Facebook: During weekdays, I refrain from browsing my personal account’s newsfeed and checking up on people’s lives. Of course, my family is an exemption from this rule. Nonetheless, I check my notifications and comment back when I’m tagged. But that’s just about it.

My point is that I no longer mind other people’s lives, I focus more on reading about my interests.

3. Find your niche in the social world

Similar to no.2, when you find your point of interest, that’s where you begin to focus despite all the external factors disrupting you.

My niche is anything related to Personal Finance and motherhood. My husband’s niche is anything dentistry-related and Survival Guides. I have a friend who is so much engrossed with zero-waste management and shifting to elimination of plastic. Once you find your niche, most of your time will revolve around it – but in a good way.

4. Read a good book or blog

Because sometimes, a little push from a good book or your favorite blogger is all you need to change your mindset.

5. Enjoy the journey

It is much better to focus on life-enhancing experiences rather than possessions or symbols of success. After all, when you reach your golden years, which do you think will you remember – the experiences you did have OR the feeling of regret for being left out from something you missed?

How about you? What instances have you fallen for FOMO? Share them in the comments below. I would love to know.

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By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.