It’s so, so easy to let “lifestyle creep” get the better of you. You make a little more money, but suddenly you have a few more expenditures, and the end result is the same. Too many people get caught on that treadmill.
There are two things that I can think of that will help:
- Don’t be motivated by stuff. Think about your life right now – are you, for the most part, happy? Assuming you are, then if I doubled your yearly income, you could presumably put all the excess into savings and still be exactly as happy. Maybe even a little more so because you’d have the comfort of knowing you had a greater safety net. Surely you wouldn’t be less happy just because you weren’t spending that money – after all, you’re happy now and you don’t even have that theoretical extra money. Keep this mindset, and as your income improves, keep your expenditures.
- Keep a small circle. We’re so easily tricked by things like relative wealth and status. Fancy toys are cool because other people have them; or because we can show them off to people that don’t. But if you only have a small circle of trusted, wise people who don’t care about what car you drive, you’re less motivated by shiny toys.
What other mental exercises can you think of to help you stop lifestyle creep?