JOMO: The anti-social trend that could save you thousands

A young woman engages in JOMO while drinking coffee from cup in bed A young woman engages in JOMO while drinking coffee from cup in bed Image:

In a Nutshell

A new Credit Karma survey shows more than 80% of young adults are ditching FOMO and embracing JOMO (the joy of missing out), a new trend that has serious financial and personal benefits.

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Last year Credit Karma revealed that fear of missing out was driving many young adults into debt. The antidote may be JOMO — a new trend on the rise.

A Credit Karma/Qualtrics survey of Americans ages 18 to 34 shows that 81% say they’ve experienced JOMO, or the joy of missing out, by opting to stay in instead of going out.

One of the biggest benefits of JOMO? Saving money, according to our survey. In fact, 84% of respondents who have experienced JOMO report spending less when they opt to stay in. Our findings indicate they could save an estimated $1,300 a year by staying in once a week. And staying in at least three times a week could amount to more than $4,000 a year in savings. (Learn about our methodology.)

What’s more, we found that JOMO could be key to helping young adults feel less stressed and more in control of their lives. Of respondents who’ve saved money from JOMO, 30% reported feeling less stressed, 23% said they felt more financially stable and 20% felt more in control.

With JOMO benefits stretching from the financial to the mental, it’s no surprise that many young people are ditching their fears of missing out and embracing the joys of a night in.

Key survey findings

Among young adults who have JOMOed, 84% say they save money when they opt to stay in versus going out.
With most respondents (58%) who have skipped plans to stay in saving more than $25 each time they JOMO, young adults could save an estimated $1,300 a year by JOMOing just once a week and more than $4,000 a year by JOMOing three or more times a week.
Saving money from JOMO makes young adults feel good — 30% of respondents who saved money from JOMO reported feeling less stressed, while 23% felt more financially stable and 20% felt more in control.
JOMO’s benefits aren’t just financial 71% of respondents said JOMO gives them “me” time, 47% say it lets them focus on their mental health, and 41% say it lets them spend time on hobbies.

How much is JOMO saving young adults?

Our survey suggests that JOMO is key for young adults trying to budget. A large majority of respondents (84%) who have JOMOed said staying in saves them money, and 67% cited “saving money” as a primary benefit of JOMO.

We’re not talking small change, either. Here’s how much young adults report saving each time they opt to stay in versus going out.

How much do you save each time you JOMO? % of respondents who JOMO
$10 or less 13%
$11–$25 28%
$26–$50 35%
$51–$100 16%
More than $100 7%


With a majority of JOMOers (58%) saving more than $25 every time they opt to stay in, and a majority of respondents (54%) opting to stay in at least once a week, young adults may be able to save
an estimated $1300 a year thanks to JOMO.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter (28%) of respondents said they stay in multiple (three or more) times a week, setting them up to save an estimated $4,000 a year.

Why is JOMO replacing FOMO?

With a new wave of hustle culture permeating the millennial workforce and debt-inducing FOMO driving their social scene, JOMO looks to be a trend among young adults who want a break from being “always on.” In other words, it’s possible that many young adults are simply too burned out to go out.

In fact, survey respondents said they’re willing to give up a number of activities — including drinks with friends (52%), a night out dancing (48%), shopping (42%), and sporting events (40%) — to reap the benefits of JOMO.

Perhaps the reason JOMOers are so willing to give up an array of social activities is that JOMO’s benefits go way beyond the financial. According to young adults from our survey, some of the biggest pluses of staying in relate to mental health and personal care.

What are the primary benefits of JOMO? % of respondents
Having alone time 71%
Saving money 67%
Getting to prioritize my mental health 47%
Pursuing my interests and hobbies 41%
Getting to prioritize my physical health 21%


And many say the best part of missing out is the break you get from things like late nights and bad conversation.

Among respondents who have JOMOed, 30% say getting a full night’s sleep is the best part of missing out, while 14% say it’s avoiding small talk. Other things JOMOers love to “miss” include having to dress up (14%), hangovers (8%) and “regrets” (13%).

JOMO spending is a thing, but it’s still better than FOMO spending

Our survey shows that when young JOMOers spend when they stay in, they spend on things like food delivery (59%), movies (53%) and alcohol (36%). But 72% of those respondents reported spending just $25 or less on JOMO-related activities.   

Compare that to the $26 to $100-plus that the great majority (76%) of JOMOers typically spend on a night out.

So, net-net, a little treat-yourself JOMO spending is likely the better option for your wallet and no cause for guilt — as long as you keep it in check.


Tips for balancing FOMO and JOMO

Sometimes people catch flak from those closest to them when opting to stay in.

Our survey found that more than a quarter (26%) of JOMOers said staying in resulted in disapproval from friends and family. That might hurt — but it doesn’t appear to be a deterrent, based on the overwhelming number of young adults who are taking part in the JOMO revolution.

Ultimately, the key to mental, social and financial health may come down to balancing FOMO and JOMO.

  • Be honest about your needs. Going out can be fun, and you don’t want to let friends and family down — but, as our survey shows, always saying yes can take a toll financially and emotionally. If you’re stressed about spending or you need time to recharge those social batteries, you’re not alone. Consider telling friends and family you’ll hang out later, once you’ve had some “me” time — or let them know you can join in an activity that doesn’t blow your budget. Whatever your situation, be open and honest.
  • Resist the urge to check social media. JOMO can help you relax and unwind by staying in. But our survey revealed that 64% of JOMOers check social media more often while staying in — and that’s counterproductive. In order to fully benefit from JOMO, it’s probably a good idea to step away from Facebook and Instagram and focus on the present.  
  • You do you. JOMO is really about using your time however you want. Embrace it, and enjoy the financial and mental health benefits that can come from balancing “me” time in addition to time with friends and family. Because YOLO.

Methodology

On behalf of Credit Karma, Qualtrics conducted a nationally representative online survey in January 2019 of 1,045 Americans ages 18 to 34 to learn about their spending habits related to JOMO, or the “joy of missing out”. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole.