Easing Out of Lifestyle Inflation

I’ve had both a job and one or more small businesses at the same time for more than 5 years now. That’s resulted in two things: I went from below poverty-level income to making what’s good money in comparison, and I’ve gotten used to having money coming in each month — as opposed to not knowing where my next dollar would come from.

But that’s also made it very tempting to succumb to too much lifestyle inflation.

Believe me, when you’re coming up from super low income, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of lifestyle inflation. But there are limits, and I’ve noticed myself passing them a little too often lately.

So I’m going to be easing out of lifestyle inflation. While I won’t be cutting back on the things that I really love doing (travel, eating out) I will be looking at other expenses and purchases with a new eye.

After all, why buy things that I’m not getting full use out of, or that I don’t really need?

What about you? Have you noticed lifestyle inflation creeping up on you?

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21 comments

  • I’m fighting it with everything I have. Good for you for focusing on the things that bring you the most satisfaction and dumping the rest. It’s not about more, more, more but it’s not about total deprivation either.

  • I feel like I have been fighting an uphill battle against lifestyle inflation…the only chance I have against it is pushing the money into accounts that I no longer considered “mine.” So extra cash flow goes to debt repayment OR into a long term savings account that I would feel terrible to invade.

  • It is easy to get out of control, look at professional athletes, and entertainers. My rule of thumb is to save 50% of any extra income. Every time I receive salary increases, I put 50% toward investing.

  • In one way, I’m kind of glad that we’re stuck with our underwater house for at least five more years. It’s forcing us to live at this level for a while and not run out and buy a larger house, which I’m sure we would have done by now if things were different.

  • Justin

    I have to admit Im amused by the article title itself…this is a good post. Very true…the more we make, the more we spend, we inflate our own expenses, never allowing ourselves to get ahead. I got a huge raise, I went out and got the most expensive car ive ever owned…

    if you get a chance, check out my fledging personal finance blog..id love to hear feedback from a fellow blogger!

    http://www.moneyistheroot.com

    • Yay for new blogs :) Do you have a twitter account? I stopped by but didn’t see an icon for one.

      • Justin

        No I dont have a twitter account, actually I dont even use one personally…I use facebook regularly but I havent created one for the blog… kinda figured I should start slow and work my way there, lol gain some loyal readers. I appreciate you checking it out!

  • It is pretty amusing looking back at my credit card statements from when I first graduated college to right now. Lifestyle Inflation definitely came to our household! Then again, we are still saving lots of money, and have our debt paid off (except the mortgage).

    The only thing that bothers me is thinking about squandering away some of our money, you know? Like even though we’re doing well financially, tomorrow may be different, so we should probably save even more…

  • I’ve had a pretty significant lifestyle deflation over the past couple of years. I’m living cheaper than I ever have. I’m also making (almost–did take a very small paycut for my current job, but the bennies are better, so I end up ahead at the end of the day) the best salary I’ve ever made. Thank god, thank god, thank god I read YMOYL years ago, or I’d probably still be spending more than I make and screwing up my chances for a secure retirement. It is LE CRAZY how much money I am able to save from lifestyle deflation.

  • Paul

    What is the book YMOYL?
    Thanks,
    Paul

  • I’ve lived a pretty frugal life, in fact I’ve been so frugal it’s hard for me to spend money.

    Lately, I’ve actually trying to spend more money guilt free but it’s very hard for me.

  • Why do you feel guilty about it? I remember when I felt like that. I think for me it was just not being used to the idea of actually having *extra* money available.

  • It’s a constant battle for me. Awareness helps a lot. The problem is I just “want” too much.