Some time ago, I was introduced to the concept of JOMO – Joy of Missing Out. It was such a simple concept, yet it changed my life so much, for the better.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me introduce what it is.
What is JOMO
You might have heard of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. In Merriam-Webster, FOMO is described as the ‘fear of not being included in something (such as an interesting or enjoyable activity) that others are experiencing‘.
People who get an extreme case of FOMO spend a lot of time and money to participate in many things just so they don’t ‘miss out’. Obviously, this isn’t good when they can’t afford said activities and things.
JOMO, on the other hand, is the opposite. It’s Joy of Missing out. Here, you are acknowledging there are simply too many things out there that it is impossible to do or buy every single thing, so you stop trying to fit in everything. You choose what’s important to you and forget about what else is out there. You’re at peace and content.
A big part of JOMO is acknowledging the effect of social media in making you feel FOMO in the first place. We only feel there are TONS of things to do because social media gives us access to TONS of people. And you’re only seeing the best stuff from their lives, because everyone curates their feed (myself included).
So, I thought I’d make a list of things that I no longer want to care so much about. I’ve divided them into a few categories: Big ticket items, accessories and beauty, electronic devices, social media and investment.
Here are things that I just gloss over (to the best of my ability) when I see them on social media and not give much thought:
Not owning a car means I don’t worry about monthly instalment, car insurance, road tax, repair costs, petrol prices, parking cost, and other car-related costs.
Plus, it doesn’t make sense to own one when I mostly work from home and it’s so easy (and convenient) to use ridesharing services.
Accessories and Beauty
I’m not a watch person and won’t pretend to be one.
2. Luxury bags
Sometimes I get that ‘hmm should I’ when I see my peers wear luxury bags. But no, I’d rather keep the RM20k in my investment account.
3. New makeup
No restocking until I finish my current stash.
4. New jewelry
What I have now is enough. So what if it’s repeated :/
1. Latest phones
I do own an iPhone, but only with the intention of using it for at least 5 years.
2. EBook devices
I love physical books and will make room for them in my budget.
Can watch everything from laptop.
4. IPad or tablet
Just don’t think I’ll get that much use out of them
5. Gaming consoles
Don’t really want to waste time. Plus I have my Steam account.
Here are all the social media I left or paused
1. (Left) LinkedIn
Totally deactivated my account and happy about it!
2. (Left) TikTok
3. (Pause) Pinterest
4. (Pause) YouTube
These are all the investments that I decided not to do, even though they are ‘hot’:
1. Individual stocks
I just don’t care about company drama
that much at all.
2. Property (or REITs)
Note: property investing is different from own stay
Not after all my negative experiences in forex trading.
Investment-wise, I’m happy with my current approach and portfolio. I’m a big believer in maxing out investments that give tax relief + low-fee mutual fund/unit trust/ETFs + cryptocurrencies (as my fun investment), prioritised in this exact order. Covered this in the 3 Best Investments in Malaysia (+ The Best Way to Invest Your Money)
The result: I have so much Time
Doing this JOMO exercise and deciding what to cut out has given me more hours in the day. For example, I no longer stress about thinking of what to update in LinkedIn, when I give myself permission to leave it entirely. (And as much as people say it’s important for professionalism and all that, leaving LinkedIn made zero impact to my life).
Now, I have more time to do the things that *do* give me joy and fulfilment:
- optimising my website
- learning new ways to make money
- grocery shopping and testing frugal recipes
- completing my 22 for 2022 list
- and whatever I feel like doing, like the 2-hour mid-day nap I had today
Perhaps JOMO is more impactful considering my results from the Financial Behaviour Report show I do score higher on the Openness side, indicating I like novelty and therefore am prone to ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’.
But as much as I like trying new things, I also want to avoid living with FOMO all the time (it’s exhausting!) and be intentional with the things I choose to do with my limited time here on Earth, and a big part of that is cutting out things that are NOT important to me.
Fact is, you can’t afford doing EVERYTHING
Plus, there’s that small matter of accepting I can afford some things, but not EVERYTHING, so might as well spend on things I actually like. If you’re someone who finds it hard to turn down invitations from well-meaning but affluent friends who are making you broke, please learn how to say no before it’s too late.
I’m going to end that train of thought here. If any of you feel like you are suffering from FOMO and want to be free from the impossible task of keeping up, then I highly recommend you to follow the principles behind JOMO and finally feel the Joy of Missing Out.