Have you ever said yes to attending a social event even though your bank account says no?

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – is a very real phenomenon that affects people across the nation, as well as their wallets! It refers to the deep feeling of envy you get that other people are having more fun or experiencing better things than you. This sensation is often exacerbated by social media platforms, which can have a significantly negative effect on your self-esteem if you are constantly exposed to the event you feel you’re missing out on. In fact, the concept of FOMO is so widespread that in 2013, the word was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary!

Couponing101.com, conducted a survey of 3,500 people to investigate just how much they are spending to avoid the feeling of FOMO, as well as how many overspend on payday leaving them strapped for cash for the rest of the month.

It was found that overall, Bay Staters admit spending $3,700 per year ($315 monthly) in order to avoid the feeling of FOMO (in line with the national average of $3,912).

Broken down across the country, it appears Rhode Islanders admit to spending the most - $1,112.89 per month and a startling $13,354.67 per year. By comparison, Delawareans are least affected by FOMO, spending just $99 monthly and $1,191 per year.

The research also revealed that one-third (29%) of Massachusetts residents say they overspend on payday and consequently, struggle financially to make it to the end of the month.

Couponing101.com has created this interactive map where you can view results by state:

The survey also found that one third of respondents feel sad and excluded after seeing photos of friends and family at a social event they did not attend. Women (41%) feel this way more than men do (24%).

Doing it for the ‘Gram? Additionally, nearly 1/5 (16.3%) of people admit that they go to events or on trips with photos for social media in mind! Again, women (17.1%) tend to do this more than men (15.5%).

Can’t say no: Worryingly, 17.3% of those surveyed say they have organized a loan or credit card to be able to afford to go somewhere because they didn’t want to miss out. 18.9% of women admit to this, as compared to 15.7% of men.

The survey also asked people in which area of their lives they tend to spend the most money due to the pressures of social media. These results were found to be vacations (35%), restaurants (23%), events (15%), health and fitness (13%), makeup/hair products (7%) and clothing (7%).

Moreover, when asked which social media platform was most likely to cause them most FOMO, 66% of respondents said Facebook; 13% said Instagram; 13% said Twitter and 8% said Snapchat.

‘As a nation, it’s clear we are spending beyond our means, partly caused by FOMO’ says a spokesperson for Couponing101.com. ‘However, as Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”’

(press release sent to WSBS from Couponing101.com for online and on-air use) 

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