How to Combat Lifestyle Inflation

CNA-How-to-Combat-Lifestyle-Inflation-by-Darwin_image-300x231

CNA-How-to-Combat-Lifestyle-Inflation-by-Darwin_image-300x231

Ways To Save Money

Most people are familiar with inflation — goods and services rising in price over time. But there’s a more subtle form of inflation that many Americans face. It’s “lifestyle inflation.” As we progress through the phases of our lives, our spending tends to increase. It’s often incredible to look back at our younger selves and how low our overhead was compared to today, right? Here are some common lifestyle inflation categories and ways to combat them:

 Hobbies

Hobbies can become more expensive as you develop into adulthood and have more disposable income. Consider cutting back or finding less expensive ways to enjoy your interests. You can almost always find deals, no matter the hobby. Think ahead and set a budget.

Weddings

Anyone hitting their 20s and 30s knows that familiar batch of wedding invitations that reaches the mailbox each year. Attending a wedding (especially if you’re in it!) can be pretty expensive. Some ways to cut costs include planning ahead for accommodations, splitting a gift with other attendees, or performing at the ceremony instead of giving cash.

Growing Family

This is one of the most common (and most expensive) forms of lifestyle inflation. Things can quickly get more expensive, but a lot of these costs are within your control. It just depends on whether you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone and adjust your habits. If you find that food is getting expensive, try buying in bulk and prepping the week’s meals in advance. Clothes can often be shared among friends and siblings. Buy books and toys used rather than new. Kids don’t know the difference, and you’d be amazed how much goes unused anyway.

Give Up on Keeping Up

The sooner you realize there will always be people with more than you, the better off you’ll be financially — if you stop trying to keep up. Huge home? You could have a new home sometime in the future too, maybe just not now. New car? They’re usually a bad investment, given the instant depreciation that occurs the moment you drive it off the lot. Fancy clothes? If you shop around or wear last season’s fashions, you can save a lot and still look good. Deal sites, comparison sites and some good, old-fashioned restraint can save you thousands of dollars a year. When you look back at how much money you spent trying to keep up with the Joneses, you may find it simply wasn’t worth it. Better to realize it sooner rather than later!

 

The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.

 

Darwin is an engineer and MBA who takes an “evolutionary” approach to finance, writing about adapting to evolving financial management, tax, investing and savings opportunities. Making more money and saving more money is an adaptive process – join the evolution! He blogs at Darwin\’s Money and ETF Base. Follow him on Twitter @ Everyday Finance.

Darwin – who has written posts on CashNetUSA Blog.


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