Give Me Back My Five Bucks

A case of FOMO

Have you ever been on a diet and had a planned cheat meal? And then that cheat meal turned into a cheat day? And that cheat day turned into a cheat week? And all of a sudden, you’ve gained 5 pounds? Yeah. It can be super easy to fall off the dieting wagon. And it can be just as easy to fall off the budgeting wagon too. It’s happened to me many times before, and it has happened to me again. Thankfully I caught it in time before it could do any real serious damage, but …

… I’ve been hit with a case of FOMO.


It all started off innocently with a tweet about the upcoming Vancouver Interational Film Festival (VIFF). Last year I went to 4 shows, and loved every one of them. So I went onto the website, and found two films I really wanted to see. After briefly discussing the best times with BF and finding a coupon code online for $3 off per ticket, I booked the shows.

Related: Why I dislike the term #YOLO

A few days later, we decided to have a date night on Granville Island – beer at the brewery, and a comedy show at TheatreSports. When buying our tickets to TheatreSports (with a 2-for-1 Entertainment Book coupon), I saw that Colin Mochrie was set to perform in the beginning of October. We both got a little bit excited, and decided that we had to go to that show. $86 (!) later, we had tickets.

It was only then that I realized we have tickets to the BC Lions game this weekend (although those were free), a Ryan Adams concert (already paid for) in the beginning of October, and my sister is taking us to a Canucks game AND a Giants game for my birthday. There’s also a a concert I really want to see at the end of October. I’ve missed the last 2 or 3 times he’s come to Vancouver, and I’d hate to miss out again. Plus, I kind of want to get away over the November extended long weekend. And also maybe over New Years. But my bank account has been shouting at me, and thankfully I’ve decided to listen. No more in 2014! No more concerts, expensive events, and definitely no iPhone 6 (even though I really, really want it). :)

This little breakdown in spending has cost me $110 in the past two days.

A few years ago, I would have gotten pretty upset with myself for this kind of spending. And sure, I’ve already blown this month’s Entertainment budget. But there are so many areas in my life that I’ve cut back on, in order to spend money on experiences instead of stuff. And if I’m continuing to save for retirement, and my spending doesn’t get completely out of control, I’m okay with it. As long as it doesn’t happen too often. But I think this little break in spending will be a good one for me. :)

When’s the last time you experienced FOMO?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. I think it’s great you’re spending on things that enrich your life but it’s also great that you’re putting on the breaks before it becomes a problem. Sounds like the “balance” we’re all trying to achieve in life.

    Why not just spend half the money and try something with Android on it? ;)

  2. In the long-term $110 isn’t even a blip on the radar. :)

  3. Ely says:

    I’m curious about the breakdown of your current Entertainment value, and why it doesn’t bear adjusting? And, is it simply just a case of FOMO or is it also that you’re in a relationship that inspires you to be more socially active outside of the home?

    You don’t strike me as someone who spends with abandon, and while yes you have financial goals, does it make sense to keep that Entertainment number static? This is not to say that every activity of interest needs to be pounced on, but on average after x amount of months how much have you gone over, and did this happen during the same period last year?

    So many questions!

    (And ps I got the new iPhone after saving for it, but it also fits in nicely as a deduction on my taxes- phew!)

  4. I think there is definitely a case for spending when it’s things you need or want and will get a lot of value from – as long as you really understand the opportunity costs, and are prepared to pay them. I could put loads more money into savings, but I choose to go on holiday instead, as it’s much more enriching for me at this stage of life.

  5. Bridget says:

    FOMO is the only reason I do anything really haha

    I’m like you.. once I buy one thing it’s like opening the floodgates to a ton of more spending… but all in good fun. If your financial house is in order I don’t see a problem with enjoying the fruits of your labor. Don’t be too frugal Krystal!!

  6. I’m constantly dealing with FOMO. I see an interesting class, or a cool show that lots of friends are going to. I feel pressure to spend money that I haven’t budgeted for. It’s why I’m attending five weddings this fall. There’s guilt associated with not being there.

  7. Dan says:

    At the end of the day, I think 110$ is a pretty light attack of FOMO. Looks like you got a lot of bang for your buck as well!

  8. My spouse and I each chip in $80 a month for entertainment. (We support experiences over stuff, too!) $160 a month is usually enough for a significant concert although for $100 tickets we would have to do without any other events for a while. Some months there is nothing going on and we save it for the future, or blow it on restaurant meals and cafe snacks. Anyway, we like having a budget for it all.

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