Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Debt

Combating the Anxiety of Missing Out and Financial Obligations

The pervasive phenomenon of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is more prevalent in today’s society than ever before. A recent poll by Credit Karma involving 1,050 Canadians aged 19-39 disclosed that half of the young adults incurred debt to stay in sync with their peers’ lifestyle. This article will delve into this issue, offering insights and advice on how to combat FOMO and manage your financial responsibilities effectively.

The Prevalence of FOMO

The Survey Findings

According to the Credit Karma survey, 50% of young adults admitted to spending beyond their means to match their friends’ spending habits. Furthermore, 35% expressed their discomfort in declining their friends’ invitations to activities or events they couldn’t afford.

The Role of Social Media

Social media platforms, with their continuous feed of curated lifestyles, are considerably contributing to FOMO. The survey revealed that 40% of the respondents make purchases at least once a year, merely to flaunt it on social media.

Overspending Triggers

Food and Clothing

The survey highlighted food as the primary catalyst driving overspending, followed closely by clothing. The need to dine at trendy restaurants or wear the latest fashion trends often leads to unnecessary expenditure.

Travel and Electronics

The desire to travel to exotic locations and own the latest gadgets also significantly influences spending habits.

Permanent Assets

Interestingly, even long-term investments like housing and unique assets like tattoos made it to the list of expenditure drivers.

Strategies to Manage FOMO and Debt

Honesty is the Best Policy

Share your financial constraints with your friends. There’s a good chance they are facing similar issues or will understand your situation. This honesty can lead to more budget-friendly activity suggestions.

Low-Cost or Free Activities

Explore online resources for free or low-cost events and activities. Planning movie nights or potlucks can also be a fun and affordable way to spend time with friends.

Payment Methods

Reconsider your payment methods. Using credit cards often leads to overspending. Try using debit cards or cash instead to maintain a fixed budget.

Social Media Cleanse

Unfollow brands and influencers that don’t align with your financial goals. This not only helps you financially but also promotes mental well-being.

Unsubscribe from Email Lists

While everyone loves a good deal, promotional emails often tempt you into unnecessary spending. Unsubscribing from these lists can help reduce this temptation.


Incurring debt due to FOMO can have serious financial implications. It’s essential to understand your spending habits and evaluate if they are for your personal satisfaction or to impress others. Implementing the above tips can help manage your spending while still enjoying social interactions.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.