What is Lifestyle Creep ?

in Budget, Spending

A while ago, I asked Do You Make More than You Did 5 Years Ago . I got some interesting responses on the question. 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:

lifestyle creep
You Deserve this don’t you?
  • 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.,
Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:

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 59-year-old, Lifestyle Creep ensures you never make enough to live up (or down) to your lifestyle.

Image courtesy of  foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  • Howard Frost August 17, 2017, 9:13 AM

    Why shouldn’t I indulge myself if I have worked hard to reach a goal? The constant barrage of writers saying, “save for the future” becomes monotonous. The future is unknown, sometimes you need to enjoy the present.

    • bigcajunman August 17, 2017, 9:24 AM

      It becomes a very slippery slope, once you indulge once, how many more expenses can you rationalize?

  • No Nonsense Landlord August 9, 2014, 8:29 AM

    I find my expenses go down with age, But paying off a loan, or saving for a home, is not lifestyle creep.

    Vacations can be avoided, and should be until you are out of debt, or at least have it under control. I would take vacations from my ‘real’ job, and work a side hustle for additional money. Or take a class to increase my earnings and potential.

    You only have so many hours. Work hard now, so you do not have to later.

    • bigcajunman August 9, 2014, 9:14 AM

      I think loans and homes can be lifestyle creep, if you bought far too much home and took on loans for things that you felt you needed. Student Loans are not, unless you got a degree you don’t really use, I suppose.

  • Money Beagle August 7, 2014, 12:10 PM

    Good point that shows that each little thing may not seem like a big cost on it’s own, but added together it can really make or break your personal finances.

    • bigcajunman August 7, 2014, 12:20 PM

      It’s not the first straw that breaks the camel’s back, it’s the last one, however, the first one still contributed to it.


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