The Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO) comes natural to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) aspirants as well as to those who have already taken the FIRE journey!
The way they have decided to live their lives in order to reach FIRE as fast as possible means they are constantly making priorities different to the average person, hence experiencing JOMO frequently and so can you.
Is the acronym for the movement currently happening around the world where people want to become Financially Independent and Retire Early (FIRE). The two main pillars for FIRE aspirants are saving a large portion of their income, often more than 50% and then investing the money with the purpose of reaching their individual financial goals. The idea is based on the Safety Withdrawal Rule (SWR) or just “the 4% rule”. The intention for most, regardless of their age, is to retire within 10 – 15 years.
This “4% rule” makes it very easy for anyone to calculate how much money they will need in order to define themselves as financially independent. It is calculated by taking the annual expenditures you need to live and then divide it with 0.04%. As an example: If you feel you need 25,000 USD per year to cover your expenses, your financial independence number would be: 25,000/0.04=625,000 USD.
According to this “rule” you should be able to withdraw 4% (25,000 USD) from your investments every year without the risk of you running out of money. This study is based on historical returns in the US stock and bond markets but as it is so easy to calculate, many FIRE aspirants use this as the starting point in their journey towards FIRE.
I think most people would like to become Financially Independent and if I ask them, they would probably like to Retire Early too! The really cool thing with the above two pillars of FIRE is that anyone can do it and that is why so many people are now joining the movement!
The path towards FIRE means the elimination of FOMO
As soon as one has made the decision to start the journey towards FIRE, the goal is clear. It consists of the financial number calculated, often based on “the 4% rule”. Most FIRE aspirants dive in to learn as much as they can about how to get their expenses down so that they can save and invest more. The general idea is that the more one can invest, the faster one reaches FI.
They learn about how to get their costs down but also how to get the most out of their money. This is when they start learning the language of money, a language that will serve them for life. Those who then start out on this path, have a very very clear goal, a burning desire to become Financially Independent and Retire Early and that as fast as possible!
The goal of reaching FI becomes so important to them that they don’t care what other people might think about the fact that they don’t have the latest car, gadget, phone etc. Why would they care? They will retire within 10 years whilst their friends might be in the rat race for another 40 years and then retire with no money!
Maybe they used to feel the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) but their goal is so much bigger and so much more important than most things that FOMO no longer pops up in their minds. Their goal and the path they have decided to take is so clear to them that everything else becomes secondary. If they really want to do something, they will do it because they know they have the money. The question they will always ask themselves though is: Is this more important to me than my Financial Independence? Guess what, most of the time it is not! They are willing to give up certain things because they don’t want to postpone their retirement. The sooner they get there, the more they can do and experience because at that point they will have all their time at their disposal!
FIRE members or aspirants often experience JOMO
Of course they do! It doesn’t really matter if they are thinking about it or not, it’s a fact! As mentioned above, their goals are so clear to them that they don’t ever feel like they are missing out on anything! The first step is to not be thinking about these things and the next step is to actually enjoy the fact that you are “missing out”. I actually find it quite stupid to even call it missing out, it is not about missing out, it is about having clear priorities in life!
Some real life examples of when we feel JOMO:
Someone is going on a cruise ship: The cost for a family going can easily be 20,000 USD. A FIRE aspirant knows that as soon as they reach FI, they can take their family to Thailand and stay there for 6 months or even a year and spend even less if they want to.
The new phone is out! So what they say. The one I have is working perfectly fine so why would I spend 1,000 USD or more on a new phone. I am so happy I am not part of that crave any longer.
Partying: I love Saturday and Sunday mornings and often do I think about those who wake up around lunch time, wonder why their head hurts, where time went and why they don’t have any money. That thought alone puts a smile on my face, who is missing out? I have the money, been enjoying the sleep, no headache and x hours of morning time to do what I want!
A FIRE aspirant could start by still going clubbing but put a very hard limit on the drinking and the amount spent on drinks. This would be a great start and a beginning of JOMO.
Overtaken when driving: I’m so happy I’m not that stressed going to work or to a meeting like that person who just overtook me. I am in charge of my time and can spend it how I please and on top of that I am listening to a great podcast whilst the person overtaking most likely was on a business call…
Buying something second hand: Just the realization of how much money we have just saved gives an instant feeling of JOMO as it is putting us on fast track to FIRE!
Biking to work: Fire aspirants experience JOMO as they don’t have to sit in traffic jams, or standing in packed buses or tubes. On top of this, they keep the money in their pockets for their commute! Those who have reached FI, of course don’t have to travel anywhere unless they want to and certainly not when everyone else is travelling!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A perfect couple of days to spend at home and away from all the shops, all the marketing and the consumerism. The average adult in the US spends almost 500 USD whilst fighting and feeling the stress of other shoppers as well as FOMO and FOPO. Why not just put that 500 USD to work towards your Happy Future account?
Someone posts something fancy on social media: I personally try to challenge myself as to what I can do in a more frugal way to have the same or even better experience. Often this is quite easy as the most valuable “things” we have are not the ones money can buy…
People spending like crazy: Fire aspirants have total control over their finances and actually find pleasure in seeing other people spending their money, whilst we keep ours invested. If they have made the decision to support the stocks I own (my investments) by buying products from those companies, that is their decision. This is like a triple joy of missing out as we get the pleasure both from not spending our own money, seeing how people behave even if they don’t have money and on top of that, as a stock owner this is putting money in our pockets!
Yes, I wrote this to provoke because it is a free choice to be an indebted, rat race consumer with no time and bad health versus choosing to become Financially Independent. So if you are pissed, be pissed at yourself because everything we do here on this site is with the purpose to actually help you get over to the other side!
Basically, JOMO seems to mostly relate to different kinds of purchases and hence it is usually linked to money. A FIRE aspirant gets to experience a lot of things by being creative and flexible but keeping the money in their pockets. The more money they keep, the happier they feel as they are making clear and meaningful progress towards their goal (FIRE). So really, every time they see someone spend money and they don’t, they fell JOMO. Just think about how often people spend money, pay bills etc. and you too will realize that there are ample opportunities for those who have reached FI or are FIRE aspirants to enjoy JOMO very frequently.
JOMO all the way to the bank!
Actions to take:
- Check out our FIRE Section
- Check out our Savings Section
- The Language of Money – a language for life
- Playing with FIRE?