The fear of missing out plays a major role in the way we behave or spend. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a Gen-Z attribute, but its impact can be noticed in people of all ages. The unavoidable influence of social media in our lives is something that is provoking the fear of FOMO in us.

What is FOMO spending?
It is the fear or anxiety of not being part of an event or experience that is trending. You wish to live the life you see your friends are part of. The desire to have what the other person has always existed, but the age of social media is accelerating our desires and leading to an increase in FOMO spending.

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FOMO spending to keep up with peers is not a good tactic if you want to build your finances. At the end of the day, it is our job to look at where we stand financially and take calculated steps that would make us happy. Trying to show off and impress others may make you feel successful in the short term, but the final outcome is not that friendly.

Follow the below steps to avoid FOMO spending.

Create a budget
Create a monthly budget and stick to it. You are aware of your monthly income, and creating a weekly budget will surely help you spend less. Your budget must include essential and additional expenses.

Once you have put aside money for your budget, you will be able to figure out how much money you have for other activities. Though budgeting is not the ultimate step towards eradicating FOMO spending, it will definitely help you to take calculated steps with your finances.

Start saving
"Start early" is the mantra to achieve all your financial goals. If you are not aware of where to start? Look for a zero balance savings account.

It is a digital savings account where the bank will not ask you to maintain any minimum average balance in the account at all times; you earn interest on every rupee you save. There are other features such as a free virtual debit card, the option to get a credit card without a credit score, and income documents. You can also choose to invest in different investment instruments through a zero balance savings account.

The biggest advantage of a digital account is that you can open an account from anywhere on your phone, and the account opening process is paperless. Also, all the banking activities are based on the mobile banking app. So you don’t have to visit the bank.

Limit your credit card usage
Be more efficient while using your credit card. Limiting credit card usage is needed if you want to limit impulsive and FOMO spending. Try not to carry your credit card at all times and plan your credit spending ahead of time.

If the FOMO feeling kicks in, you should be ready to tackle it. Plan which purchase is in line with your needs, and don’t try to impress or feel included by buying products you don’t need.

Lower your social media consumption
The endless scrolling will never end if you don’t buckle up and make it stop. The question is, "How much of social media is good enough for you?" Although instant gratification is appealing, it is ultimately responsible for your FOMO spending.

Influencers, intended ads, and posts by your friends are intimidating and may pile up your debts. So. It is not a crime to deliberately avoid social media. In fact, it is better to find some other productive habit where you can learn something new and interesting.

Gratify yourself occasionally
Gratification is needed, but it should bring more joy than the depression of a monstrous credit card bill. Set a target not to spend on something unimportant for six months or a year, but try and save money for that time to gratify yourself with something that you have been wanting for a long time.

Such purposeful gratifications are enjoyable and will also help you to learn how to save for something that you want and not rely on a credit card every time you go out to shop.

Final takeaway
Slowdown and back up the next time a FOMO surge hits you. Remember, you are not missing out on something. Instead, you are trying to secure your finances, and nothing can’t be better than that.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.