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It’s a scenario we’re all familiar with: you’ve been invited out with your friends, your heart’s saying yes but your wallet is screaming ‘no way’. Saying no to fun events is hard regardless of what it is, but the creeping feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) makes it ten times worse. Don’t stretch yourself – or your paycheck – too thin and learn to balance your life instead. If you’re struggling with FOMO, follow our five ways to avoid feeling down and setting a plan in place instead.

Budgeting

Do you find yourself saying no to events to cut back on spending? Budgeting should become your best friend. Take a look at your current expenses and look at what you can cut back on. Even small things, such as buying lunch every day, can become costly over time. By reducing these unneeded spends, you’ll have more money to set aside for socialising every month. Set up a budget for the month just before payday, including money for bills, food and other household essentials as well as a category dedicated just for socialising. Be careful to stick to your budgeting goals and not overspend, or you may find yourself swapping your cocktail fund for a food shop.

Emergency plan

Whether it’s a wedding or the trip of a lifetime, some things just can’t be missed out on. Having an emergency plan in situations like this is essential, although it should only be used for big occasions – not a bottomless brunch, as tempting as it may be. If you’ve already paid out for an unmissable event and can’t pull out without losing your money, but are now struggling to get the funds together for an emergency situation then a 3 month or 6 month personal loan can help cover unexpected costs. Sometimes you need a helping hand after exhausting all other financial options and that’s perfectly okay in an emergency situation.

Do the planning

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If you’re the one suggesting where to go, you can easily tailor it to your needs without sacrificing on the fun. And although they may not say so, your friends will secretly thank you for saving them a few pennies if your ideas are budget-friendly! Keep an eye out for free events in your area; you’d be surprised at how many fun things you can get involved with without spending a penny. Even if you can’t find anything for free, look for bars and restaurants with happy hours or two for one deals to get more for your money. You’d be surprised just how much money you can save by opting for deals like this. The best way of finding them is checking out reviews, social media accounts and asking for recommendations on community boards.

Accept that you can’t do it all

Just because you’ve missed one event, doesn’t mean you should feel guilty or upset. Embrace the ability to say no every now and again, remembering that there’s still plenty of socialising to be done in due course. It won’t be long until the next event rolls around, one that may be better suited to your budget or schedule.

Avoid social media

Looking at social media is the worst thing to do when you’ve had to say no to an event. Everything looks ten times more fun when you’re watching from afar, especially when you actually had an invite. Remember that things are usually portrayed differently on social media, with only the best bits being shown. Avoid obsessively checking your friends’ social media accounts when the night comes around and treat yourself to a night of digital detox and relaxation instead.