The 10 Best Ways to Inflate Your Lifestyle

2 min read

Lifestyle inflation – the tendency to “inflate” your spending as your income increases – is one phenomenon that prevents many people from saving a lot of money.

If you want my advice, I’d recommend avoiding it. But if you’re looking for ways to embrace lifestyle inflation to the fullest, here are 10 ways to do so.

Note: The following list is meant to be sarcastic.

1. When you land your first “big money” job, buy yourself a new car. You know what I mean. That first job you land straight out of college. The salary job. The more-money-on-a-bi-monthly-paycheck-than-you’ve-ever-seen-before job. Whether’s it’s $30k, $70k, or $100k, it’s still more than you’ve ever earned before. Use that salary to treat yourself to a new car. After all, you earned it.

2. Upgrade your apartment. No more living on the cheap with roommates. Forget about living in an area where house parties keep you up until 3 A.M. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. You’ve got the big money job, remember? Use that money to get a larger apartment in an upscale part of town.

3. Fill up that apartment with stuff. There’s nothing that looks worse than an empty apartment. Fill that sucker up with furniture. Get a nice flat screen TV to mount on the wall. 50-inch? I don’t think so. Try a 70-inch. You’ll want it for the one or two parties you host per year. Get a couple lamps too. And some nice dish towels. Maybe buy a painting of the Eiffel tower or something too.

4. Stop packing your lunch. Remember how you used to pack PB&J’s and tuna for lunch? No more of that. It’s time to start dropping $15 on lunch breaks at work. Everyone else is doing it and now you finally have the income to participate. Enjoy that sushi.

5. Upgrade your wardrobe. Ditch the $20 loafers. No more t-shirts. Nobody at work will take you seriously if you don’t have enough shoe-shirt-tie combinations to make it through the month without repeating an outfit.

6. Buy a watch. Like, a really nice one. Let people know that you’re the type of person who is so busy and important that you don’t have time to reach in your pocket and look at the clock on your iPhone screen.

7. Join a fancy gym. Even if you only work out twice a month, you’ll want to get a gym membership. This means you’ll probably want to buy some new gym shoes as well. While you’re at it, buy a new gym bag. Maybe a gym towel too. That’s a thing, right?

8. Join a tennis club. Why play for free on local courts when you can pay a yearly fee to play indoors?

9. Start going out on the weekends. Remember how you used to find cheap ways to entertain yourself in college by going to free concerts, taking camping trips, and playing basketball in public parks? Luckily, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can start paying to be entertained. Remember, you earned that salary job. Don’t be shy about spending that income. 

10. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each pay raise and promotion you receive. Repeat for 45 years. 

My favorite free financial tool I use is Personal Capital. I use it to track my net worth, manage my spending, and keep an eye on my monthly cash flow. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it makes tracking your finances simple and easy. I recommend trying it out.

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7 Replies to “The 10 Best Ways to Inflate Your Lifestyle”

  1. While I know this was written with sarcasm, I think most folks have to buy at least a few items of new clothes when they start first job. None of my employers would let me wear t-shirts and shorts to my office job. I went with capsule wardobe. Now much wiser I shop for professional clothes at thrift stores.
    Also in regards to tennid, my husband for the first time paid to play indoor in winter. No membership, the park and rec instructor get court time in the winter since they teach there in off-season. Not cheap but way cheaper then joining tennis club. We have found ways to do things we care about for cheaper, but not everything had to be free. Of course this spending is after emergency fund and retirement funding.

    1. I like your approach – spending on things that bring value, but looking for cheaper ways to do so. I have nothing against professional clothing or tennis clubs, they just happen to be two categories I see people unnecessarily spend too much on. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  2. Or spending that extra money from the new job on anything you don’t need! I upgraded jobs soon after college and I had doubled my salary. I figured I “deserved” stuff like a Keurig machine, and dozens of other pricey appliances. They add up over time, and ate up my surplus money.

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