A Pro Tip: Navigating FOMO While Living On A Budget

June 11, 2017

I get major FOMO. I'm quite sure I've talked about this before, but in case you aren't quite sure what "FOMO" stands for, it's a catchy little acronym stands for the "fear of missing out."

I'm certain that FOMO is 99.9% of the reason I ever found myself in debt. I'm a "yes" girl, sometimes because I am just not great at saying "no" to things, but also, often because I just don't want to miss out on a fun experience.  

Thankfully - as I've gotten older, I've been able to calm this a bit. It helps when you know yourself well and have an idea of the events and experiences you are okay to miss out on because you know you won't enjoy them. (i.e. when my friends went skydiving recently). 

The FOMO that really got me into debt was the fear of missing out on the latest clothing trend or the fear of missing out on that great trip my friends were taking. 

These days, that type of FOMO doesn't happen often because I budget and plan for the things that I want to spend my money on. When I know a big trip is coming up, I formulate a plan to tuck away some cash from my paycheck each month to save for it. If there is a big item I want to purchase, and I don't quite have enough room in my monthly budget, I pick up some extra classes to teach at the gym or I babysit. 

But - there are still some things that I want to do that are a bit pricier than I can, or am willing to, pay. However, I've discovered another little tip that can help avoid the FOMO while you're living on a budget:

V O L U N T E E R

Obviously this only applies to certain situations, but the situations it applies to are big ones!
If you've ever lived in Houston, you know we've got this tiny, small event called the R O D E O. It is literally one my favorite things about Houston. For three straight weeks there is a professional rodeo, followed by a concert every single night. And not like dinky little concerts, but concerts with artists like Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, The Chainsmokers, Meghan Trainor, etc etc. It is fun, entertaining, and a great reason to wear those cowboy boots. Tickets to the rodeo can be fairly inexpensive at around $20/ticket to sit up in nose bleed sections, but if you've got multiple artists you want to see (or you love the actual rodeo so much and that is your favorite part), $20 can add up. 

So you can spend a ton of money, OR...you can volunteer.

This year I was on the Gatekeepers committee where I scanned tickets of rodeo-goers, and got to sit really close to the action. Working six 8 hour shifts allowed me free entry into any show, any night of the week. A great tradeoff for a fun experience and an opportunity to meet a lot of new friends.

Plus I got to wear THIS outfit:

  When in Texas, amirite?

When in Texas, amirite?

I also participated in my first ToughMudder in May. A ToughMudder is a 10 mile run with 20 obstacles along the way (obstacles such as belly crawling through mud, being hoisted over really tall walls, sliding down slides into giant ice baths, etc). It was an experience that I thought surely I was going to hate, but actually ended up really enjoying it, primarily because the group of people I participated with was top-notch. 

 

I am typically a "one and done" kind of girl - I want to experience something, and then I feel fulfilled by that experience and do not feel the need to do it again. But, the week after we completed our ToughMudder, we found out there was another one coming up in the fall here in Houston. Everyone started throwing around that they wanted to do that one, too. 

At first I was like, "nah, bro, I'm good, y'all have fun!" But the more people that chimed in that they were all in again, the more I wanted to also be in again. However, I don't really want to drop another $140 on a ticket to participate. 

But guess what? This too, has an opportunity to volunteer. Each ToughMudder has two opportunities to participate as they are two day events. If you volunteer for half of one of the events, you can participate in the other day's event for $40; if you volunteer for a full day, you can participate for $20. Jackpot. 

So yea - volunteering might not always be the most glamorous of ways to spend your time, but it's always a great opportunity to meet new people, save some money, and still get those experiences. 

(And a post that was supposed to be just a quick money-saving pro tip turned into a novel. You're welcome.)