Why, you might ask? If I make millions of dollars I am going to be super duper rich! Bahaha What a load of crap. Why? Well, pretty simple really. I can make $1,000,000 per year, but if I spend all of it, am I really wealthy? I may look wealthy to the people I am trying to impress, but if I don’t own anything putting money back into my pocket each and every month, am I really wealthy? Introducing the crazy concept of lifestyle creep. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As my career has continued to progress, this has been the single most difficult thing for me to be aware of. In the consumerism culture we live in, it is so simple to buy the newest gadget, buy a new car, or spend more money going out to eat and drink every weekend.
Let me ask you a tough question for you to be very self critical of. When you received your last raise or bonus, what did you do with the additional money?
The answer for most is probably spend it on some flashy thing. You might argue, well I earned it so I am going to spend it. Calm down, calm down young grasshopper. Yes, you did earn it. But what are you trying to accomplish here? Are you trying to stay living in the rat race and immediately spend every dime you make? Or, are you trying to be intentional with your money and spending?
Be aware of lifestyle creep. What is lifestyle creep?
In simplest definition, lifestyle creep is continuing to spend more and more money as your income increases. If you get a 10% raise, you would immediately begin spending 10% more on items you don’t need. A new car, a bigger home, nicer dining, more alcohol, etc. You get the point hopefully!
Whenever I begin speaking to people about money and about being intentional with how I spend and invest, the question typically comes up, well how much do you make? The point isn’t about how much you make, but rather how much you save to invest. I also ask them in return, how many 26 year old individuals do you know making six figures driving a 2008 car with 118,000 miles on it? If I were to guess, a very small number. Yes, I could go buy any car I want to right now with cash, but my goal isn’t to look wealthy, but rather be wealthy. There is a difference!
Save where it makes sense for you! Spend where it makes sense for you!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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