Money Wise

YOLO, FOMO and Your Finances


Are you living life to the fullest? Or you are just living for the next adventure because of YOLO and FOMO?

YOLO quotes
You Only Live Once, so I encourage you to live life to the fullest.

YOLO and FOMO will hurt your Finances

You Only Live Once (YOLO) and the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) seems to be the motto of many young people nowadays that they have become a phenomenon. We invest on so much on experiences, big or small, good or sometimes bad.

But even the good things can become bad for us, if done excessively. That is because everything that we do, all the activities that we want to experience, entail money. Even a seemingly innocuous road trip need G-A-S and spells M-O-N-E-Y. And of course, meals and sometimes new outfits to match.

Hear Me Out

Before you protest, I am not gonna tell you to stop doing that. I am 42, therefore not a millennial. But I love making memories and creating family traditions with my husband children so experiences are a must for us. Before the term YOLO was invented, I was already doing that.

What I want to underscore and the key thing here is — keeping the right BALANCE. As with my earlier blog post, our finances should be guided by this equation:

Earnings – Savings/Investments = Expenses

So it’s okay to spend some of your income for pleasures and experiences. But let’s do that after we have set aside money for our different kinds of savings like emergency funds, help funds, mutual funds, and other kinds of investments like houses, businesses, and the like.

Saving Up for Travel and Your wants

One of the experiences that we all long for is traveling. We feed our wanderlust, thanks to social media that show us colourful photos and exciting videos of places to go and things to do. And all those enticing seat sales offered by airlines for local and international flights–awesome!

Everything is screaming “SALE”, which translates to “Buy Me Now!” It also does not help that your FB friends seem to be living off their suitcases, hopping from one place to another. You also want what they have experienced, too, so that you will not miss out.

travel fund - YOLO quotes
Building up your travel fund simply means saving up for your travel plans.

Our Family’s Story

Now, I will tell you a true story.

We have long wanted to bring our first daughter Shawna to Hong Kong so that she can also experience the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland. But our adorable second daughter came along so we had to suspend the trip, as we now wanted to go together as a family.

Plus, it will also save us from going back there again. We can use future travels funds in going to another place. We do this because we try to make things as fair as possible between the two kids.

We kept saving here and there in the interim and finally, our dream trip will soon come true next month. It has been five years since Dindin started saving up for her Hong Kong trip and she is just so happy that it is becoming reality. And our second daughter Shane is sharing in the joy, too, because also joined us in saving for this trip.

The Life Lessons Taught

We wanted to impart to our daughters that big expenses like travel should not be spent upon one time-big time. We are also sending a message that we should be saving up in order to achieve our goals, such as traveling or buying something expensive. We are showing them also that there are different ways of saving and earning to afford what they want. We don’t take out a travel loan or tell them that we are going to withdraw their future educational funds just for travel.

Additionally, saving for travel should not be deducted from the savings you decided to set aside for the future. Savings for the future should be mostly for your retirement, your children’s college fund (even if you are still single), or anything that you would want to save on.

boarding passes
The wanderlust in us can be hard to appease. I know the feeling, but we just have to think logically and stop saying, “Bahala na.”

Real savings make your money grow. Travel is an expense. So don’t make the mistake of taking out your travel expenses from your savings.

Avoiding the Trap

The best thing to do to avoid the YOLO travel trap is to write down your priorities and goals. Seeing them on paper makes your goals more tangible and achievable. It will also help you to check your list from time to time. It will remind you of where you plan to go and if you are on the right track.

world travelers
Our children like to travel as well and stay in hotels. They like the good life, too, which is the reason why they need to stay grounded with the life lessons we are trying to teach them.

Good Company

I, too, get tempted. After I have plotted our HK trip, I am already thinking of going to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. The wanderlust is really strong in this one. I was told that it was easy to get there, visas are not needed, and food + accommodations are very cheap.

Naturally, I was enticed that I told my husband that I am already scouting for cheap fares. I reasoned that since we are homeschooling in Bacolod, part of our world learning curriculum is to bring our kids to international adventures.

But sadly, we do not have a bottomless budget for travel. After our HK trip, we will have to start saving again for our next trip. My husband had to remind me about it and I listened. Sometimes, it is best to be in good company to help you put your priorities in order. So maybe, you can have a buddy or partner who has the same financial goals as you do, so that you can help each other achieve your dreams.


A lot of people (myself included) set aside part of their income as savings that will mostly go to retirement. It has become a trend. Instead of letting your savings stagnate by keeping it under your bed or in a savings account in the bank, you put your future funds in investment vehicles like mutual funds. If your risk tolerance is higher, you may decide to invest in the stock market. This part needs some monitoring though to make sure your stocks are not losing money.

The best time to invest is now. Actually, it should have been yesterday. But since you haven’t started yet, then start investing now. Seek out investment vehicles. The easiest for our family is mutual funds as I don’t have to manage them, so that’s where most of our money is.

We are preparing for our children’s future and our retirement, which is why we are channelling a big part of our combined incomes there. We want to be able to save more, of course. But since money doesn’t come in regularly for me (refer to Freelancer Problems), we just try to top up on our investments as much as we can, whenever we can.

YOLO Can be Used for Good

If you embrace the YOLO principle, it should encourage you to seize the day or go for your passions or pursue your dreams. That should be the most important motivation there. If you have dreams of traveling as frequently as you want, you should make sure that you can afford it.

At one extreme, we shout YOLO, which means that we don’t care about managing our finances well. These are the kinds of people that, if faced with lack of funds, they just either give up on their dreams or take out a loan. That should not be the case.

If you have a lot of dreams, such as traveling the world, the YOLO principle should drive you to pursue them, which includes reaching the capacity to afford them without compromising your future funds.

YOLO quote on REGRET: It's better to look back on life and say:
If you have lived a balanced life, you will have fewer regrets.

I have a young friend who travels a lot, but thankfully she has also started saving for her future through mutual funds. My brother has already reached a capacity of being able to support our retired parents but he still gets to enjoy a life of pleasure while saving for his retirement. Sure, there are sacrifices but these are all done for the sake of a BALANCED LIFE.

Plan Ahead

Many young people nowadays think that they are living the high life because they don’t want to miss anything and eventually say, “I wish I did that.” But it could also apply to saving for your future. If you spend all your energies and money produced in your youth chasing after each and every experience that presents itself, you’ll regret it. You will eventually say, “I wish I have saved some when I was younger.”

Living our lives to the YOLO financial extreme is not living life at its fullest. Instead, we are losing it on the other side.

Living life at its fullest doesn’t equate to extravagance. No matter how much you have inherited or earned, you can still end up using every single centavo if you do not act with prudence. Keeping a balance is key. You may have some money at your disposal and you have used every bit in rewarding yourself with travels. You’re young and single, anyway.

But there are unforeseen things that may require you to spend on. You don’t really have to do what everyone else is telling you or go where they invite you to go. FOMO starts with “F” and F means Fear. This newfound fear may be shaken off–it’s not real. You just got to stick to your plan.

Get more info here about your financial planning.

Real Friends Will Help You

You might be thinking that you will lose friends if you will not go with them in their jaunts and journeys. If that happens, then probably you should reconsider these friendships. Real friends would not bring you down to your detriment. Real friends protect each other.

And honestly, based on my observations with other people, these kinds of “friends” who only hang out with you because you can afford their “trips” are not worth it. They will not bother to look at you when you can no longer afford the YOLO lifestyle.

Yes, You Only Live Once. YOLO it is So try to make it as pleasant as possible for yourself on both sides of the fence.


29 thoughts on “YOLO, FOMO and Your Finances

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about YOLO and FOMO and yes about Finances! I make sure that I invested in my children’s future and an insurance for myself but also doing my best to enjoy life at its fullest without spending too much just for the sake of going out of town trips.

  2. I have always had a split view of YOLO and one must do to what the future has in store. It’s true and practical to save up (for the kids) since it also means that we can trust that whatever the future brings, they would be ok…then again, we are advised; “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,” so we know that a loving Father is always there to help us in time of need. 😀 😉 Of course, I got your point, there’s limit to things, YOLO could be a dangerous idea but as you said ‘keeping it in balance’…You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts sis. I also believe in not being anxious about tomorrow, as our God provides. I did think of that when I started setting aside money for the future. But then I was also convicted. God gave us wisdom in order to manage our finances well. The way I see it, God will bless us and provide for us, but if we find ourselves in lack because of our lifestyles, parang di na kasalanan ni God yun but our lack of wisdom and also restraint. hihi Kaya don, nag start na ako mag think about the future. 😀

  3. Teaching kids at early age about frugality and diy-ing are important. They will value more their expenses and learn to be creative and resourceful to get what they want.

  4. I would truly agree on living life on a balance … nakapagtravel ka nga lubog naman sa utang.. wala rin. Living life to the fullest to me is not really about seeing the whole world, it’s about making the best of what we have at the moment and those don’t necessarily mean money. We’re just glad we’re blessed with fair winds and waters kung baga when it comes to business so we get to invest in things that are really needed … anyway, wish to meet you one of these days… come to Davao.. hahaha!

    1. Yes sis, you are blessed! 😀 Yeah, if ever I will travel to Davao, will surely get in touch. It has been a long time since I was there. Naka 10 years na siguro 🙁 Hoping to bring the kids there someday. 😀

  5. I’m so happy that your dream of visiting HongKong Disneyland with your family is becoming a reality! OMG! Next month na! ^___^ Kudos for raising a kid that’s focused on something, kng baga may determination — like saving for something that she really wants.

    How I wish my lil kiddo Kimy will also have that determination just like your daughter Dindin when it comes to saving. Kimy knows about saving, she saves because she was told to.. but no goals gid. Daw wala lang sa iya. Haha. 😀

    1. It’s okay Moms, start her somewhere. At least she is already aware of the concept of saving. Maybe you can have a separate container for her specific savings, like for her college fund or for travel. 😀 That way, she will learn to set her goals and achieve them, even if it’s little by little. 🙂 Hope this helps.

  6. You are really the kind of parent that I admire, including your husband. You have raised such a family focused team that everyone admire and look up to. goodluck on your plans and i guess all i can say is cherish every experience because time is so fast – before long the kids are already all grown up. – irish ?

  7. Wow..I wish I could do the same… Got three kids.. saving extras is hard specially only one has a job. BUT this is an inspiration.. a good way to teach kids how to save up for TRAVELS.

  8. Super agree with this! Hubby and I have been saving for nearly 2 years for our upcoming trip next month! It’s one of my dream destinations to go to and I’m really excited we were able to save for this trip while still paying for bills and saving money for insurance and other investments. Dapat gid naka plan tanan!

  9. Thank you for this post I have learned so much about saving money and how to balance your lifestyle.And also how to use wisely the FOMO And YOLO.

  10. We’re only young once.. we’re only old once.. young or old, the past, present and future needs to be considered considered.

    We could have written the same blog post. We planned to travel way back 2009 but things happens.. life happens… babymaking happened hehe…

    Seriously, goals, travel goals or any form of life goals are unique to every family based on their values and aspirations in life. Life should be measured against unique goals and not what is cool to do in life.

    Travel. Invest. Live life accordingly to your own “uniqueness.”

  11. 5 years! Wow! I’m saving up for a Hongkong and Malaysia trips for both my boys too. 🙂 Here’s to hoping it materializes next year. You are absolutely right on saying that the travel expenses should not come out of the savings, it should be separate, whichever is extra from savings and daily expenses. I’m so happy you guys get to go soon! I’m sure it will be twice the fun knowing you saved and earned the trip. 🙂

  12. I totally believed in YOLO in the sense that you shouldn’t hold back on life experiences. But I wish kids will learn YOLO is just not just acting out or doing what you want without thinking of the consequences. We only live life once, so might as well do it right, in alignment with what God wants for us. So many takeaways from this post, most them resonates with me. Thanks so much.

  13. We are in need of a new trip, much on the wish list but kids have changed our priorities. A good balance is important and once baby gets a bit older hopefully we can do some trips.

  14. This is such good advice. We do well in some areas, like saving up for vacations, but admittedly don’t have a retirement fund going. My husband says we can’t really manage to save for both and he’d rather live now so that’s what we do! He expects to work until he’s 150 I think hehe

    1. hahaha It’s good that you’re taking it with humor. But I think you have 401k, right? And it can get you comfortably through. Here in the Philippines, our social security is not much, so we really need to spare something to build our retirement fund.

  15. I agree that while it is important to live in the moment, it is also important to prepare for the future, which is why it’s ideal to strike a balance in budgeting resources. That being said, no one should deny themselves pleasures as well, especially when they work very hard for it. It’s all about finding the right medium and balance.

    1. I agree with you, balance is key. My family loves to travel. My husband is keen on bringing his little girls all over, it helps our homeschooling in Bacolod efforts. So we manage our finances carefully.

  16. This post is spot on. As someone trying to showing more financial stewardship myself, I believe balance is important! It is not everything we want at a particular time that we have to buy straight away, it’s important to live within your means whilst also treating yourself too because most of us do work hard and deserve a break! Haha
    But yes saving, investing and spending wisely is key. Thanks for sharing!

  17. This post has reminded me that I need to start planning for the life I want to live now, not the life I want to have. I want to travel more with my daughters and this post highlights why and how. Thanks so much for your insights.

  18. I totally agree with what you have written in this post. My family and I try to live frugally. Since my kids were little, we made sure they understood about priorities. Sure, they were jealous of their friends going on grand vacations every year. However, we made sure that they knew we were saving for bigger things, like preparing for their college fund. Of course, you only live once, so we make sure the one life we were given will be well spent. We do take vacations, but not extravagant ones. We feel that as long as we spend time together as a family, doing the things we love is worth more than gold.

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