Last week's episode of Get It Together with Catie Hogan focused on lifestyle creep. Have you listened yet? Go listen now! It's a short episode all about how lifestyle creep is preventing us from reaching our financial goals! I wanted to follow it up with a blog post.
One of the greatest threats to your financial future is a little thing called "lifestyle creep." It's basically a modern version of "keeping up with the Joneses" where we waste our increases in income by upgrading our lifestyles, often needlessly.
The keyword in the phrase "lifestyle creep" is, in fact, "creep." This isn't something that happens instantaneously. Lifestyle creep happens slowly, over time. It creeps up on you...which is why we don't often notice it until it's too late.
(No, not this kind of creep.)
Because our upgrades in lifestyle happen slowly, it's more difficult to see the negative impacts of our financial decisions. Then when we look at our situation, we think, "where the hell did my money go?!" Lifestyle creep has a way of sneakily stealing away from your future goals to pay for the "now."
(Me whenever I have a dollar in my pocket.)
So how do we combat lifestyle creep? Well, first, awareness is key. Now that you know what lifestyle creep is, you'll be able to spot it in your own life. Sure, it's great to reward yourself as you increase your income, but be careful. Not everything in your life needs an upgrade. The more you can keep your expenses level, or even lower them as you increase your income, the more effectively and efficiently you'll be able to reach your financial goals.
Think of it this way: "keeping up with the Joneses" is essentially living out someone else's dream. By avoiding lifestyle creep, you'll be working toward living out YOUR dream...and that's just way cooler.
To learn more about lifestyle creep, I suggest checking out these helpful articles:
Lifestyle Creep: What It Is And How To Avoid It
Learning How to Conquer Lifestyle Creep
Lifestyle Creep Keeps You From Building Wealth
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