About a year ago I asked Do You Make More than You Did 5 Years Ago and I got some interesting responses on the question, so let us delve a little deeper into what I call Lifestyle Creep™ which seems to be one of the things that may cause the economy to fall over, all by itself.
What do I mean by lifestyle creep? In my interpretation, it is the same as “Feature Creep”, a term used in High Tech Development teams, where someone keeps trying to shove more and more into a release of software or hardware, thus slowing things down, and eventually making the whole thing unusable. This scenario is pretty much what happens with young folks these days:
- Graduate with a debt load of student loans.
- Still need to start saving for a house, and things, because that is what you need to do
- You need a car to get around
- That furniture you have is really crappy, after all you aren’t a student any more
- The laptop stinks, it’s the same one from school, and it isn’t even supported any more
- Must need a Big Screen TV
- Good High Speed Internet access is important
- Need to go out with friends, after all you aren’t a hermit, life is short let’s have fun
- Man, this work thing is hard, must need a fun vacation
- Getting married, you can’t scrimp on that, after all you only get married once (hopefully)
- etc., etc.,
How Does this Add Up So Quickly ?
Isn’t it easy for all of it to build? Before you know it, you are now paying off student loans, credit cards, car payments, and rent and thus you have no money to save with any more, but you have great earning potential, you’ll get a raise next year, and it will all be good.
Speaking as a 53-year-old, Lifestyle Creep ensures you never make enough to live up (or down) to your lifestyle.
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