If you go through your life just consuming products and services, you will get exactly what you pay for and most likely you will have very little to show for it.
This can change by you becoming an owner of the brands and companies you really love and that can serve you for life. So ditch FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and FOPO (Fear of Other People’s Opinions) and start living life on your terms!
We are all consumers, some to a larger extent than others and some of us are considering the impact we have on our environment before making purchases etc. Regardless of whether we are run by FOMO/FOPO or not, we are all consumers to some extent and most of us will always be. We buy things to live in, to eat, to wear, to drive and the list goes on and on…
Some products we buy more often than others and some of us consume a lot more than others. Basically we all have different spending patterns and some are more deliberate than others. The challenge of these digital times is that we are constantly being bombarded with commercials fighting for our attention, wanting us to buy their products and services.
The first thing we all should do if we want to live a life on our terms is of course taking control of our consumption (by ditching FOMO and FOPO) so that we only buy the products and services we really need (not just nice to have). By taking control and not shopping in a reactive mode or by being easily influenced by media, commercials and friends we will have much more money in our pocket.
The key thing is to make sure you get the most value out of your money when you decide to buy something as it’s your money we are talking about! By becoming more conscious as to what and when we buy stuff, we won’t live in FOMO or FOPO and this for sure will lower our stress levels in general. As I have mentioned before, my rule of thumb before buying something is to ask myself “Is this a nice to have or a need to have?” and “Is this more important to me than my financial freedom or will it speed up the process of getting there?”.
I see so many people buying stuff just for the short dopamine kick and then they complain of never having any money or that they are in too much debt. I find it so sad to see this kind of behavior but unfortunately this is what companies do to us. They do everything in their power to make us addicted to their products as well as trying to influence us to purchase their products in any way they can. They are in it to make money and that’s it!
If you want to live your life on your terms, you can’t be a consumer living a life of FOMO/FOPO based on the people and the marketing around you all day and every day! The companies want you to be chained to them for life but you must break free to be able to live your life the way you want.
By becoming an enlightened and conscious consumer, you can buy the things you really need, love your life and have much more money in your pocket!
Becoming an owner?
I will now assume you are not run by FOMO/FOPO and making the most out of your money but there are still going to be these things you love and buy. As an example, you need to eat and hence you buy food (unless you own a farm). If you love the store where you shop, always shop at the same place and you talk about this store to your family and friends because it’s just so good.
What if that shop is part of a chain and that chain of stores are listed on the stock exchange. That would mean you could actually start investing in that company stock. If you always spend money in that firm and you believe in them long term etc., maybe you would like to become more than just a consumer of their products. Maybe you want to become an owner by purchasing some company stocks so if the company is doing a good job (making money etc.) you get part in the upside of the company!
I personally love this concept and believe I might be on to something if I love the products of the company and I talk to my friends about them etc. Here in Sweden, I always shop at a certain chain of grocery stores because of their prices and offering. They are listed on the Swedish stock exchange and I also own some stocks in that company. If the company is doing well, they pay an annual dividend (like interest) and if they do well over time, their stock might also increase in value.
By doing this, I’m not just a consumer spending my money with the company. I’m also an owner of the company (albeit a very small owner) which means that if I start investing in them I can also make money when they make money!
This was just one example but a few others could be companies like: Johnson & Johnson (selling every day products which you might use), Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon etc. Just think about the products you use very often (maybe even daily) and ideally products you love and that you actually push your friends to buy as well. Before you start investing in any companies, you of course have to do your research so that you make sure the investment is something you feel comfortable with.
The cool thing is that when you have products you love and also find companies that look good on the paper and you believe in their future, you can actually take part in their journey and make money whilst using your favorite products!
As with any investment, there are risks associated and you of course have to make sure that the investment you are contemplating is the right one for you. Before making any investment decisions, you should discuss with your financial fiduciary.
How to think
Personally I just look at the products I’m using as I find it best to start with oneself. If I love some particular products and rave about them to my friends, then maybe there’s something to it. Especially if the company is doing well and I believe they will be doing well in the future too.
The other angle is to just to look at consumers in general, what is it that they tend to buy? Do they always buy Starbucks coffee and do I think they will continue doing that every day regardless of the business environment? If I think the demand will always be there and I believe in the company, maybe I would look at investing in Starbucks. This regardless of whether or not I personally buy my coffee there.
There are so many things like this in our lives that we could look at when we want to start investing. Some examples would be: the food and other consumer products we buy, the car we drive, the insurance company we have, the bank, the internet or phone provider etc.
Just think about what you or your friends love (ideally obsess about) and then have a look at that company to see if it might be a good investment. If you don’t know anything about investing, you of course have to take it one step at the time to learn and diversify before you do anything. Still, I would recommend you to think about the possibility of becoming an owner of the brands you love and not just being a consumer where the money the company makes from you goes to someone else’s pocket.
I personally want to have money in my pocket (getting value out of my money) and I also want to add money to my pocket and this is one way of doing just that which I think makes a lot of sense!
The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO)
JOMO might be the word to remember and a word to try living by. The Joy of Missing Out is absolutely fantastic. When you can take a step back and just observe how others behave and the consequences that brings, it can actually be a clear joy knowing that you have ditched FOMO/FOPO and are no longer behaving like that because you are in control!
Think about a packed mall where people are almost fighting to buy products just because of a sale. Isn’t it amazing that you don’t have to take part in the fighting, nor in the (often) stupendous spending and shopping? Have a coffee sometime and enjoy the mania taking place and just realize how much more you can experience with your money and how much faster your will reach Financial Independence just because you have realized the insanity of consumerism and how fantastic JOMO can be to you and your family.
By knowing what is most important to you and your family and committing to focus on that goal, FOMO and FOPO will disappear and JOMO will start to appear. I’m pretty sure much of your stress and anxiety will go away when you are no longer run by FOMO nor FOPO and at the same time you are in financial control and making sure that your money is working for you.
JOMO combined with you becoming an owner and not just a consumer will undoubtedly help you reach Financial Independence so much faster and I just hope you are ready for the ride!
Actions to take:
- The Language of Money – a language for life
- How to change your money mindset!
- Check out our Savings Section
- The Bucket System – Automating your Finances
- The 10 Key Questions I ask before making an investment
- JOMO – a natural thing for a FIRE aspirant!
- Why Warren Buffett recommends Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)