Lifestyle Creep

Like kudzu on a hill side, lifestyle can silently grow, stealing resources and killing dreams.

Think back to your last raise or windfall – what do you have to show for the money?

You used to pay 6.2% of your pay in social security taxes, this year you are only paying 4.2%. What have you done with that 2%?

If you have recently paid off all your debt, good for you! Now, what will you do with that new “found” income?

Chances are if you don’t make a conscious decision about what to do with it, it will just slip away. It’s not that you are weak or stupid or irresponsible. The reason it will slip away is because there is a whole world of really smart marketers working day and night to conceive ways to separate you from your money.

In 1950, the average size of an American home was 963 sq ft. In 2004 that average size had grown to 2349 sq ft. while the size of average family decreased from 3.0 to 2.6.

How is it we could once be happy with so much less?

For most people housing is their biggest expense. That expense includes many line items that increase as the size of the home increases including; rent or mortgage, utilities, maintenance, taxes, insurance.

When you have more square footage, you tend to fill it up with furniture, toys and appliances. What would your life look like if you lived smaller? Could you travel more, work less or stay home with the kids?

Maybe your kudzu is not your home; maybe it’s eating out or the car you drive or the toys you buy. The point is: you need to re-examine the ways your money slips away instead of helping you move closer to your dreams.