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How to Keep Calm and Still Be Swag
Here are five smart ways to chillax while convincing your parents that you're not ruining your future, shares Segment Manager Kenny Loh.
Aside from trigger-finger, another condition that's said to plague our generation is the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). In other words, a worry that others are having rewarding experiences in your absence — supposedly made worse by those all those painful vacation snaps on Instagram.
For me though, FOMO tends to arrive more as criticism from my parents, who imply that not only is strolling the 'hood catching Pokemon or going cave tubing in Yogyakarta extremely lame' but it implies that I am under the unshakeable influence and tyranny of my friends. While at times they seem unable to articulate their worries without being mean, what I realised was that my parents are just concerned about how I may be financing a lifestyle beyond my means.
I'm not alone in this struggle to convince them that I can manage my finances and have a life — many of my friends are too. Banding together, we devised a handy five-step guide to saving money, while still being able to enjoy the things we love. Hopefully you'll find it useful too.
Review Your Data Plan
Who am I kidding? Of course I try to one-up with my kakis on Instagram. My buddies and I enjoy this bit of the FOMO part; and the competition actually makes us, bizarrely, more close. Just be wary, though, of the amount of data it consumes. Your attempt to match that super-awesome restaurant photo might just skyrocket your next phone bill.
Note that it's not necessarily cheaper to change to a plan giving you more leeway. If you're not planning to upgrade your mobile plan, this useful list tells you how much you're actually consuming from popular apps like Spotify, YouTube and Netflix; and it teaches you how to switch from auto- to low-resolution settings to conserve your precious GBs.
Discounts Happen Daily
I understand the pressure to buy something when a discount cue on an e-commerce page reads "low in stock" or "last chance to buy". But sales happen year-round, all the time! Resist committing to something just because a sign pushes you to lock-in your item. You can always go back to the page the following week, particularly for budget airline tickets.
While items are on sale, they may also feature expensive shipping costs. Before you click on "Pay Now", check with Google for a shipping discount code that may be available. Or ask anyone on social media if they'd like to make purchases together to enjoy free shipping or share freight expenses.
Dangers of Over-Ordering
We're all in a habit of the queuing for the latest food fad. And when you're finally at the counter after an hour of waiting in line, you're hungry! So it's then tempting to make the most out of your time and buy more than what you're capable of eating.
But think about how many Japanese cheese tarts you can actually cram into your stomach. Then just buy what you need, not the whole box!
Share Your Passwords
In the same vein that carpooling reduces taxi fares, sharing Netflix, Spotify Premium or HBO Go subscription with your best friends can help you lower entertainment costs. Oh, and if you're buying something on Amazon, check if any of your friends has free shipping from an Amazon Prime. Sharing is caring, so do the same for them!
It's Okay to Say No
Your parents do nag in your ear, but we've got to admit they are sometimes right about FOMO, which is usually less to do with peer pressure than our inability to say no.
You may think that you‘re breaking your friends' hearts. But your best friends can understand and will still love you if you give a music festival or a couple of Friday pub-crawls a miss.
Just be upfront about being plain broke, or about your plans to save. No one should feel pressured or bullied to attend a random social event. Besides, they've probably been where you are too. So relax — a little missing out now, should mean money in your pocket tomorrow.