YOLO and FOMO – how will I ever get out of debt?May 07, 2015
You are in debt. You’ve just logged out of Facebook after scrolling through the profile of your best friend’s neighbor’s cousin. His most recent post of pictures capturing beautiful Caribbean beaches and astonishing sunsets saddens you. Could you be sad because you are suffering from ‘FOMO’ or Fear of Missing Out? You envy your Facebook friend and are convinced you need a vacation. You begin to get creative and scheme a plan that finds room in your budget to fund a trip to a sunny destination. Maybe you’ll use your credit card to book something last minute or spend your tax refund to fly to ‘paradise’? You’re now convinced you deserve this trip and that You Only Live Once! You’re determined, but your financial conscience insists the vacation will dramatically impact your yearly budget and more importantly, your debt repayment goals.
Canadians may find themselves in financial difficulty should they choose to succumb to vacation envy over a well planned retirement strategy. In fact, recent studies suggest Millennials, those born between the years 1980 – 2000, are most susceptible to FOMO. In short, Millennials are living in the moment and may care far less about planning for their retirement as did previous generations. With the abundance of life sharing opportunities available through social media, Millennials are challenged constantly to stay current with lifestyle trends, although keeping up may not be feasible to an individual struggling with debt repayment.
Studies suggest Canadian spending habits are being guided by FOMO and as a result, consumers are obtaining more credit than ever to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Having access to a variety of consumer credit options you may see pleasure in the moment, but pain in the future when the credit card statement arrives at the end of the month. FOMO and the associated debt implications if you are already struggling to make ends meet has most Canadians asking ‘how can I get out of debt?’
Creating a debt repayment strategy
For Millenials, a good place to start is by foregoing that vacation and focusing on creating a debt repayment strategy, including paying down student debt. Although the pressure of carrying debt is bad enough, don’t make it worse for yourself by indulging in a lifestyle that will impair your ability to save for the future. Take advantage of low interest rates and increase your student debt payments. The sooner the debt is paid, the quicker you can incorporate savings into your budget and that dream vacation will be possible!
The next best answer is to find a debt relief professional, like a Trustee in Bankruptcy, to discuss your debt repayment options. There are debt calculators and financial health quizzes available to evaluate your situation. Even though you are working hard to repay your debts, there are ways for you to speed up the process, such as a debt management plan or entering into a consumer proposal.
Living in the moment may feel good today, but the debt you carry into tomorrow will affect your savings plan for the future. Rather, align your financial goals with a lifestyle you can maintain now and visualize want to have in the years to come. Regular savings goals and paying yourself first by reducing your debt will lead you to a sound financial future.
Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #LetsTalkFOMO.