Monday, October 12, 2015

Balancing the Lifestyle Creep

Happens to everyone. Some new service comes along and you think, "oh it's only $_ a month, I'll subscribe!" Or the ones you didn't choose, like a rent or child care increase. True story for me.

Actually, it wasn't a new service, but an upgrade. HuluPlus now offers a commercial-free option for $11.99 a month (instead of $7.99). I resisted for a whole week before I couldn't take it anymore - I think the commercials got more obnoxious just so that I would do so! But hey, a half-hour show now only takes 22 minutes.

Then I got the notice of my rental increase of $20/month. The same amount I was going to increase my savings each month. Oh, well, it's a wash.

Then it was my iCloud, which is full, and now I'm paying 99 cents a month for a bigger cloud.

Okay, so it's a lifestyle creep of about $5 a month, all in. But I have to stay mindful of these things so I don't turn around and find it's $100 a month because I wasn't paying attention. And I still want to increase my savings by $20 a month, so this month, I'm taking a closer look at my budget categories to try and make it happen.

Costs will continue to rise, so it's important to have a little breathing room in the budget. It's also an opportunity to take another look and see if the expense still aligns with your values.

Of course, increasing income should always be considered, too. It doesn't have to be 2nd job, but there may be opportunities to freelance or even MTurk. There's only so much a budget can be trimmed so if there are ways to increase your income, that's even better. So long as you can avoid the lifestyle creep, that is! 

1 comment:

Ruby Tuesday said...

I've noticed an increasing 'addiction' to drinks throughout the day; coffee in the morning, sugar free red bull or something like in in the afternoon, and wine or beer in the evening. Added up, this can be $5-$10/day, depending on where its purchased. Dunno. Maybe it's nothing to be concerned about, but over a months time it's well over a $100 expense.