Are you familiar with the term “fear of missing out”, or FOMO for short? The phrase was coined for the act of scrolling through the fabulous updates of your friends and acquaintances on Facebook and Instagram – and the feelings of inadequacy that follow.
These days, the pressure is on, particularly for 20-and-30-somethings, to pursue a constantly packed social calendar – or at least appear to be having a great time. However, a new debt survey shows that while a brimming social life may be fun, it’ll also leave you broke. Here’s how popularity can make you a pauper.
The Stigma Of Saving
Whether you’re jetting off for a destination wedding or imbibing in impromptu after-hours drinks, social obligations can be the quickest way to derail a dedicated savings plan – and we’re afraid to say no.
The study, commissioned by Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Solutions for Credit Education Week, found young adults fear appearing frugal in front of their friends. Forty per cent reported feeling embarrassed when admitting they can’t afford something, while another 40 per cent worried they’d be labeled a “party pooper” for refusing to go out.
What’s interesting, though, is the study shows this perception is all in our heads; only 12 per cent of respondents said they would actually judge their friends in such a manner.
Cut Your Friends Some Financial Slack
Some might be surprised to find their friends are far more understanding about their spendthrift ways – 92 per cent of survey takers said the following excuses are completely understandable for missing out on fun.
– Debt repayment
A large majority also felt it was fair to be cheap when grocery shopping (82 per cent), buying gifts (71 per cent) and when planning a wedding (71 per cent).
Want To Save Money? Get Separate Cheques
Interestingly, another 81 per cent found it completely acceptable to cut financial corners when going out with friends – yet that story seems to change when the bill arrives. When out with a group, 22 per cent of Canadians feel they typically end up with more than their share of the bill, and another six per cent feel they don’t contribute enough.
Sharing Is Caring When It Comes To Debt
Looking to break your social debt cycle? Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Capital One Canada suggest – gasp – talking to your friends about your frugal fears. Here are their top tips:
– Share your financial goals with family and friends so they can help you stay on track
– Keep a written log of your goals, and track your progress
– Rewarding smart financial decisions will help you stay committed to your goal
– Know your vices, and create a budget that takes them into account
– Shop smart and look for ways to make every dollar count
And, last but not least, make free plans with your friends – and don’t be afraid to ditch your buddies if they prove part of the aforementioned 12 per cent. After all, with friends like that, who needs loan sharks?