Lifestyle Inflation

Lifestyle Inflation

I’d never thought of this one, written about several times by Mr Money Moustache. We are all prone to it, encouraged by surround-sound marketing and easy credit.

Most of us spend what we earn. We get a pay rise, so we spend a bit more. We have a windfall, which is quickly allocated to a kitchen/car/holiday/wine cellar.

What if, every time we get a pay rise, we increase our savings rate?

Related to the above vice is Hedonic Adaptation (another MMM bugbear). Simply put, we get used to luxury. If you’ve never stayed in a hotel before, a Travelodge seems pretty plush. After a few nights in one, it starts feeling a bit drab. A Premier Inn feels nicer now. But then you get used to that, and it takes Hotel Indigo to get the same reaction your first Travelodge got. You get the picture.

As a petrol head I have the same issue with power. In my 20’s a 112 bhp GTI was enough to keep me smiling. Then you get used to that, and you ‘need’ 150. Then 200, 250…

The result is that you spend a lot more, and only get the same buzz you used to do with less money. I hear drugs work the same, but I’m still on 1000mg of vitamin C. I’ll stick to cars.

What if we could maintain that same enjoyment/gratitude, without always wanting something bigger/better/plusher? We’d save an awful lot of money, retire earlier, be just as happy, and look smugly at those less self-controlled fools in their financed S-Class Mercs. 

Although my current car has 250 bhp, I make a point of only using a stable full of them day to day, then when I do use them, it still puts a smile on my face. I don’t feel the need for a more powerful car.

It’s worth some thought.

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