The Fear of Missing Out with Dr. Stuart Heckman, Ph. D, CFP®

FOMO - Fear of Missing Out with Dr. Heckman

We have a great episode this week with a special appearance from Stuart Heckman, CFPÒ, Ph.D., and faculty member at K-State. Dr. Heckman has experience as a financial planner, but also is a well-known researcher in the industry. He has done some very interesting research on FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out, and that’s the majority of what he covered with Jack and Josh. The research started when some faculty at The Ohio State University was interested in college student financial wellness. Using a survey, the asked about how students felt about their financial situation, what their specific situation was, and more.


1.     70-71% of students reported feeling financially stressed

2.     There are definite relationships between debt level & stress level. The higher the debt, the higher the stress.

3.     Not having enough money to participate in the same activities as peers was a high stress factor for students.

4.     There are some relationships between someone’s financial stress and if they stay in college or not.

5.     People who feel confident managing their own money feel less stress about finances.


If you feel like all your friends are able to do things and you  have to miss out, it can cause you to feel bad about yourself. A big influencer of FOMO is social media because people only post the best parts of their life. They may post a picture on the beach for spring break, but not tell you they’re missing next month’s rent to be there!


People are sad about missing out for a couple reasons. The first, we are relational beings. We like connecting with other people, so it’s a bummer when we can’t. The second, people don’t talk openly about their finances! Studies have shown that most people don’t talk to anyone about their finances, especially if they aren’t family.


There is a big trade-off here! Would you rather experience something now or experience something later? It’s all up to personal preference. However, if you save a little more money now, you may be able to do more things you want to in the future. Be on the lookout for good deals for college students, especially free stuff! Don’t let FOMO control your decisions.


“Money Tip of the Week”

Figure out what you’re spending your money on! Track your spending because you may be surprised how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on. There is a great budget provided by Powercat Financial under the “Create Your Spending Plan” portion of their website. You can also check out our budgeting podcast! This is a great first step to getting on track.