As of yesterday, I’m entirely student loan debt free and have maintained my goal of remaining credit card debt free in 2016.
Set intentions, make a plan, stick to it, achieve.
I assure you, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing, but I can’t really say there is anything I have said no to this year that I really regret. I should also point out that I have done some amazingly awesome things already this year and am leaving in a week for the vacation of a lifetime with 8 of my friends to sail the Saronic Islands during The Yacht Week in Greece.
I am not saying this to brag, I am saying this to make the point that setting a budget and living within your means while still taking advantage of amazing opportunities is more than possible. The power of saying “no” is immensely liberating both spiritually and financially. As someone who has moved over the last few years to a have-less-do-more lifestyle, it has required a lot of self-discipline and a lot of pushback from others, but a whole lot of awesome as well. You start to discover what is important to you when you choose to prioritize your resources.
FOMO is born from a scarcity mindset. We fear that this is the chance of a lifetime, that this opportunity will never come around again. I assure you, it will. Either that or something even better will present itself when you actually have the time and money to take advantage of it. Your friends, if they are truly your friends, will understand and respect your choices and goals as much as they may hate that you can’t partake in the shenanigans at hand.
I spent many years operating from a place of FOMO. I’ve probably paid off close to $100,000 in credit card debt over my adult life (I’m only 34.5…). I remember the day (at 25 years old) I finally sat down to look at my money coming in versus what was going out and realized I was living $400/month beyond my means. I was going out every Thursday-Sunday with my friends, taking trips to Vegas and Hawaii, buying furniture and expensive electronics all on credit.
I had absolutely no awareness of what I was spending, clearly. Once I did, it made it easy to make a plan. But even with the plan in place, I was still having a hard time sticking to it. The struggle was real when it came to telling people no. I wasn’t confident in the fact that “no”, all by itself, is an answer. I felt the need to qualify it, and when my reason wasn’t good enough for whoever I was saying no to, I would ultimately cave and make the plans and spend the money.
When we move from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance, we realize that the options and opportunities are limitless. After all, living a life on purpose means we can create our own opportunities at any time.
I encourage you to ask yourself what kind of life you want to live. What does it look like? Is it filled with expensive things? Amazing trips and experiences with friends and loved ones? Then look at your plan to achieve those things. Do you have a budget? A savings account? Are you aware of what you are spending and how much you actually bring home? Are you realistic about the amount of work you have to do to align these things? Is it worth it?
If not, something has to change, and FOMO should be the first to go.