Fighting FOMO

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Credit: Pixabay

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably heard of FOMO.  It’s a psychological quirk of humans that advertisers exploit to get us to buy ALL. THE. THINGS.

I mean, nobody wants to miss out on something cool, right?  Everyone wants the latest, greatest shiny.  How else can you assure yourself and everyone else that you’re cool and successful and beautiful?

I’ve never been one of those people.  Labels don’t matter to me, whether something works for me does.  Maybe it’s a side effect of growing up without much money.  My parents made sure my siblings and I always had what we needed, but there were lots of times when we didn’t get everything we wanted.

And guess what?  We survived.  I mean, sure, those fancy white Nikes with the red swoosh were awesome, but our Payless shoes did the job just as well.  Actually better, because once I could afford those white Nikes with my own money, I discovered the bright white didn’t last long and neither did the shoes.

Someone’s always trying to convince you that you need the latest this, that, or the other.  But I think people would be a lot happier if they would stop and think about what they actually need.  I mean, if you have unlimited funds and can buy whatever you want without worrying about the cost, then sure, avoid FOMO and buy all the things.

Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot of people (or any, really) who are in that situation.  Most of us only have a certain amount of money to spend on wants AND needs.  I want a new car, but I need water and electricity.  I want a new iPad Pro, but I need to pay tuition.  I want to travel to Europe, but I need a roof over my head.

I could let my FOMO rule my spending, but will I be any happier for doing so?  Probably not.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly can fall victim to FOMO as easily as anyone.  Right now, my weakness is anything to do with planners.

Because I’m working on launching my sticker business, I’ve been trying out different things to see what I like, what works, and what doesn’t work for me.  So I currently have a basket full of stickers and other supplies I’ve purchased sitting around taking up space, because once I got them, I realized I either didn’t like them or they didn’t work for the way I plan.

I know that FOMO is hard to combat, but it can be done.  Honestly, you miss out on stuff every day.  There’s no way for everyone to experience/own everything.  And that’s OK.  Focus on what really matters to you, and forget everything else.

What is Enough?

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Credit: Pixabay

What is enough?  This question has been on my mind a lot lately.  With an ever-growing gap between the haves and have-nots, is there a point where you have enough?

I think people would be a lot happier if they would stop and think about what it is they truly want.  Not what society tells them they should want, not what ads tell them they should want – but what they actually want.

I mean, I could say I want a million dollars, and that sounds great, because I currently don’t have a million dollars.  But is that really what I want?  And would a million dollars be enough?  What about 2 million? 10 million? 10 billion?  How much of anything do you actually need?

Now, I get that there’s a difference between need and want.  We all need a safe place to call home, to have our physical needs met (water, food, sleep, etc.), and love in our life.  But how much of the other stuff in our lives is because we’ve been convinced we need it when we really don’t?

I think this occupies a lot of my thinking because I want to move and downsize.  My current home is not a mansion by any means, but it’s still too big for the people who live in it.  There’s a large room in our home that doesn’t do anything but hold furniture.  We use it on the odd holiday, but other than that, it’s just a place that dust gathers.

I have a closet full of clothes, but I probably only routinely wear about 1/4 of it.  Our kitchen is full of gadgets we’ve used once and then forgotten about.  We have a treadmill, an elliptical, and an inverter table that no one uses.  (We got rid of the punching bag and the weight set.)  They, too, gather dust.  You know, for that day when suddenly we all become fitness fanatics.

When I’m older, I don’t want a huge house to take care of.  I don’t want to spend all my time cleaning things I never use.  I don’t want to tie my money up in useless things and then sit surrounded by those useless things.  I want to be able to travel.  I want to be able to stay home.

When I think about what I want, I need to be honest with myself.  For example, I’m an introvert and while I like to travel and see new things, traveling is hard for me.  It’s a lot of ‘new’ getting thrown at me, a lot of social situations I’m uncomfortable with, and if I’m not careful, the traveling wears me down and I end up spending more time in a hotel recharging than I do getting out and doing the things I want.

So while I’d love to travel, selling everything and traveling the world for a while, while certainly possible, is not at all something that would suit me.  My husband and I are fascinated with the tiny house movement and have often talked about buying a tiny house or RV and traveling the country.  It seems like a great idea for me – I can travel and see things, but I have my own house/space to recharge in when I need to.

I don’t want to travel forever, however, and I will eventually want another house.  A much smaller house, though.  Two bedrooms, two baths – enough room for guests when we have them, but no so much space that I spend all my time cleaning.

I think for most people, it’s not that we want to necessarily be rich.  It’s just that, generally speaking, if you have money, you have less to worry about.  Some people will argue that point, but I think for the most part it’s true.  Having money means you don’t have to worry about a place to live, putting food on the table, or having a medical issue sending you spiraling into bankruptcy.  And I think that’s what we all want, really – to not have to worry.  Money doesn’t solve every problem, certainly, but it solves a lot of them.

Of course, marketers and social media are very good at making you feel like you need ALL. THE. THINGS.  Have an iPhone? Great – is it the newest one?  If not, then girrrl, you need to get on down to the Apple store.  I mean, who doesn’t need to spend $1000 on a new phone?  Am I right?

And once you get it, don’t forget to let everyone on social media know you have one.  What?!  You don’t social media? Gasp of horror! How will you know your self-worth if you don’t have total strangers on the internet directing your self-esteem and validating your existence with likes and shares?!

Ok, that was probably a tad over-dramatic, but hopefully you get my point.

So, what does enough look like for you?  Do you need a million dollars? A billion?  A huge McMansion?  A sporty supercar?  A closet full of designer label clothing? Vacations all over the world?  What is it you truly want out of life?