Getting a boost in salary, either from a promotion, raise, or job change might seem like a great thing. However, if you aren't careful, earning more money can lead to financial decisions that may not be in your best interest down the line.
What does Lifestyle Creep mean?
Purchasing lavish non-essential items just because you earn more is the basic definition of lifestyle creep. After all, you make more money, so you should spend more money, right?
It's Normal To Spend More When You Make More, right?
Certain items like a better home for your family or taking a well-deserved vacation make sense when you earn more. After all, quality of life matters. However, when you are spending all your extra income, or worse are spending more than you previously did, then its a problem. In fact, some people find that they often save less money as their income increases, versus when they made less. That is a quick way to derail savings goals.
The Lifestyle Creep Phenomenon
Lifestyle creep phenomenon can happen to anyone if measures are not taken to avoid it. When your spending continues to increase with your income, it makes previously unnecessary purchases seem necessary.
This continues until you are stuck funding a lifestyle that you can't afford. Young professionals moving up the corporate ladder are especially affected. Having little money at first, they aren't used to their sudden influx of cash with each promotion.
Lifestyle creep can be a real issue when you suddenly need to be spending less, like when you get laid off or retire. Now you are no longer able to afford your previous habits, and you end up racking up debt to keep the same lifestyle.
How do you know if you are in danger of lifestyle creep?
Here are a few habits that might mean you are on your way to a lifestyle creep:
- Not increasing your monthly saving or investment amount year over year
- Purchasing new, big-ticket items that you don't need
- Upgrading your living situation so much that you have to budget to make ends meet
- Going out to eat more often than you used to
The team at Turbo put together this excellent infographic with a flowchart to help you determine if you are in danger of overspending. Also, it includes tips you can implement in your life to make sure you don't fall victim to your impulses.
Take a look at the lifestyle creep infographic below from Turbo to get the inside scoop on this overspending habit, and make sure you make smart financial decisions!