Lifestyle Inflation, Justified.

“As long as I’m going to college, I might as well get a top notch degree. It may be pricey, but school is good debt. Besides, dad will help out, right?”

“Now that I have tens of thousands in student loans, I need to move to a big city to pay my debts.”

“Big cities are competitive, so I gotta look good. Better get some hipster threads.”

“I could buy a cheap or used car, but this one has every single feature I could ever want. And it only adds $100 per month to my payments.”

“Work isn’t really what I thought it might be. If I get the MBA, I should be able to land a much more exciting job. It will be a good investment in myself.”

“The job market is tough right now, but I have my MBA, so I should hold out for something better.”

“This job pays more, but not quite what I was hoping for. I should take it though. I can move up quickly. I do need some new shoes though. And a new smartphone”

“3 months expenses on an engagement ring is the norm? I better bump it to 4 so that she doesn’t think I’m cheap.”

“Wow, can’t believe I’m finally getting married. My fiance wants it to be perfect in every way. You only get married once, right?

“You only take one honeymoon. Let’s make it the best trip EVER!”

lifestyle inflation

“Now that we’re married, let’s start looking for a house.”

“We’ll be in this house for the next 15 years. We want it to be big enough for a dog, 2 kids, maybe 3. Besides, a mortgage is good debt, and we’ll get our money back when we sell.”

“We have this huge house, but it’s pretty darn empty. What’s a house, if it isn’t well decorated and comfortable? Lets go down to the furniture store this weekend.”

“Yeah, we’re only 25, but who wants to be an old parent? We better have that first kid NOW.”

“Cloth diapers? Gross!”

“Only-children aren’t well adjusted. We better have our second before we get too old.”

“We only get 2 weeks vacation. Let’s make it count. We should take the kids to Disney World.”

“Yeah, $40,000 is pricey for a kitchen renovation, but we’ll get our money back if we sell. And might as well enjoy it in the meantime!”

“You can’t have a kick-ass kitchen without new wine glasses, knives, cookware, and dinnerware to match!”

“I like my job, but this other one pays better. And I’ve got bills and debts to pay.”

“We simply can’t move in to a smaller house. Let’s find a nice big one in the suburbs that is safe for the kids. Better yet, let’s build!”

“Call the movers, honey, we just outbid that other couple. And it will only cost us another $100 per month on our second mortgage.”

“We can’t sell the home by owner, let’s call that realtor and just bump up the price 6%.”

“Yeah, we have 2 cars, but neither travels well in the snow. Now that we have a kid, we should get a 4-wheel drive truck too. Besides, we already have a 3 car garage, why not fill it?”

“Our DVD’s don’t work well on this new plasma TV. Let’s get a Blu-Ray.”

“We got this Blu-Ray, but in order to enjoy it, we should upgrade our collection.”

“We don’t want to lose our house, the car, or our retirement plans. We better beef up our auto, home, and life insurance.”

“A divorce would be best. Our careers have changed us. We’ll both be happier.”

“It’s my second marriage, but it’s her first. I want it to be nice for her.”

“You only live once!”

“Might as well go out with a bang. That Brazilian walnut casket looks beautiful.”

The subtle and seemingly harmless allure of expansion tempts you with every major life decision. How you respond to those temptations determines the journey and the destination. Choose wisely.

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