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A Splurge May Turn into Lifestyle Inflation

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It's so easy to make a small spending choice here and there... then all of a sudden my budget is blown and my lifestyle costs way more money than it used to! Picking and choosing your splurges and making sure to control them is super key. This story of lifestyle inflation is a warning sign with fantastic lessons in it that I can apply right now. Bring on the savings, I need to stay out of debt!

I should have seen this coming.  Remember those DreamFit Sheets I mentioned a little while ago?  The $150 ones that have a 400 thread count?  They were delivered last week.  Now Mr. BFS wants to buy another set and never use the old ones again, lol.  He has officially apologized for ever having any negative thoughts about their purchase at all, hehehe.

My Take on Lifestyle Inflation

Like I said, I should have seen this coming.  This has led me to think about lifestyle inflation.  A certain amount seems completely acceptable to me.  For example, when we went from making less than $30,000 a year after college to more than $75,000 when we both found full-time jobs, living at a higher standard seemed to make sense.  But do I have a cut off?

My gut reaction to $150 sheets was “that’s too dang expensive to buy again” but then I honestly thought “why the heck not?”.  Together we are bringing in more than $85,000 a year even if I start making less with blogging.  We save 30-40% every month.  We usually have at least a few hundred leftover in the budget after we pay our bills and hit all of our savings goals.  In short, we aren’t going nuts, so why is my gut reaction still “no, no , no”?

I just want to avoid developing huge problems.  At the same time, our new sheets are EXTREMELY soft.  It feels pretty good to slide into them at night.

My Attempt to Avoid the Problem

So instead of overthinking this, I have contacted the company we bought the sheets from to see if they’d like to sponsor a review and giveaway.  I emailed them saying thank you for the quick delivery of our amazing sheets.  I then told them about my blog and gave them the important stats.  I linked to another review I have done and asked if they’d like to send over two sets of the 400 thread count queen-sized sheets – one for me to write the review and one for a giveaway.  We’ll see what they say.  🙂

Maybe I should spend more time thinking about using my writing to get free stuff and less about the issues with lifestyle inflation, lol.  But if this review doesn’t come through, I know we’ll eventually be buying another set of sweet sheets.

How do you deal with lifestyle inflation?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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26 thoughts on “A Splurge May Turn into Lifestyle Inflation

  1. What a great idea to offer a review! It is a win-win offer!

    If they say no, I would be buying those sheets immediately. You spend up to 33 percent of your life sleeping, so why not sleep in the most comfort you can. If you drove for 33 percent of your life, you would want a comfortable car, so I say, buy the sheets and live it up!

  2. I’m all for lifestyle inflation if you’re doing the right things in other areas of your life and you’re truly appreciating the value the higher cost item brings.

    I’m personally a sucker for good bedding and beds. I mean what other thing to you use as much except maybe your computer? I’ve had my LL Bean flannel sheets for over 10 years and they have been worth every penny. When I tried to cheap out on the last pair of flannels, they pilled after one season and ended up in the rag pile and they weren’t that cheap, they were middle of the road pricewise.

    I would be interested in reading a review of these sheets as I’m searching for the perfect summer weight ones. The high thread count hotel sheets I have wrinkle like crazy. They feel good but look horrible on the bed unless I iron parts of them and who wants to iron sheets?

  3. Great idea to offer the free review. I’m blatantly stealing that strategy! As a true free market believer, I believe lifestyle inflation can be easily controlled once you define your goals. For myself, my main goal is retiring early (around 45 hopefully). As my wage and my long time girlfriend’s wage rise, and we have more expendable income, I simply ask myself if I would enjoy that new product more than the amount investing the money would get me closer to my goal. So in your situation, the nice sheets aren’t a big deal for me (typical guy), but say playing a season of fantasy football (gambling) is worth it.

  4. Genius! I hope the giveaway/review idea works out for you!!! As for lifestyle inflation, I fight that every day of my life. I live frugally and save a lot, which is good. But that also means when I do want to ‘splurge’ it is WAY too easy to do so because I have the funds to do it. I love the security, but sometimes I miss the days where I really had to justify each and every purchase.

  5. I’m pretty hard with myself when it comes to lifestyle inflation. I watch it very closely. I recently added texting to my cell plan (yes, I just now got texting that should prove to you how much I resist lifestyle inflation) and yesterday I went through and counted my texts to make sure I was getting my money’s worth. I am. If I hadn’t been I would cancel the texting portion.

    That said, I LOVE nice sheets. There is this particular online store that sells the kind we like, they are 1200 thread count and like twice a year they put them on sale for $90. I buy a set every time. I love them! They are so thick. I’m a total sheet snob.

  6. This is a very timely post for me as I’m just starting my new (and first) job today! I’ve thought about this a lot already, as my income is increasing by more than 3 times versus last year. Honestly, I’m going to do my best just to maintain my spending and gradually increase in some areas. I’m also going to make saving my first priority, as I’m setting up automatic transfers when my paychecks come in.

  7. @Everyday Tips, I will still buy a 2nd set eventually, lol. But if this company says no, I am then approaching their competition, hehehe. Once I work my way through everyone who sells DreamFit, I will bite the bullet and buy a 2nd set. 🙂

    @First Gen, you have mentioned those flannel sheets before, what brand are they?

    @cashflowmantra, I like your simple answers. 🙂

    @My University Money, steal away. Our early retirement goals keep me in line too.

    @Denise, I hope my plan comes together too…that would be awesome. I don’t miss our broke days but I do have to remind myself that we don’t want to go back, lol.

    @krantcents, oh, this is my plan. I just don’t want anything else right now…

    @Ashley, first of all, you are not allowed to mention 1200 thread count sheets to my husband, ever. 😉 Secondly, what’s the brand and style? Hahaha.

  8. We have given in to a lot of lifestyle inflation in the past few years sadly (including our expensive phone plans compared to what we had before). The review idea is awesome. I hope they offer you a set for review and a second set to giveaway (so that I can have a chance to win a set too 🙂 ). I only recently started contacting folks for review. So far only requested some books I really wanted to read. Should slowly branch out… Good luck!

  9. That’s a great idea for a giveaway! I don’t think you were wrong in indulging in better sheets. It’s a good investment because you will be using them and enjoying their softness every night!

  10. I think lifestyle inflation is ok when it is accompanied by savings inflation. By doing that, you ensure that in the event of earnings deflation, you still spend less than you earn.

    I just got a nice raise with a new position. I’m going to increase retirement savings along with a couple of other savings buckets. I’m also going to give a raise to our fun money buckets. That way we can enjoy some of the good fortune.

  11. How awesome would it be to be able to review high end products on your blog, that you could then either keep or sell. I think it is a great model, and one which could be used to generate a lot of new readers (and possibly increase your cash flow!). I say go for it with all kinds of products if you can find the right niche.

  12. I don’t see the problem with a little lifestyle inflation. I mean, we can’t live like broke college students forever, you know? if you get a raise of $1000/month, and you increase your spending by $100 a month, and bank the rest, you are still WAY, WAY ahead of the curve, in my opinion.

    So in conclusion, buy the sheets!

  13. Well, I don’t consider this lifestyle inflation at all. Now you may do things differently than I do, but I basically keep two sets of sheets. One to wear and one spare to wash and switch out with. So for me, two sets of sheets is a necessity. But I don’t need any more than two.

    So, I personally would look upon the second set as though it were the other half of the necessary item, not an additional luxury.

    But then, I wouldn’t buy any more until these were showing some serious wear, which I expect will be a LONG time. But in the meantime, I am all up for entering a contest to win a pair. That would be great!

  14. Love the idea of the review and going after the competition. Why not expand it to comparing between DreamFit and another brand or, maybe, different thread cound of same brand? Sort of like Consumer’s Report, without the needed subscription.
    I would love to know if there is a major difference between 400 and 1200 thread count. I do know that some 600 thread count ones are not near as soft as some 400 thread count sheets.
    Anything over 350 thread count seems to last as far as the cloth, but the elastic tends to give out on the less expensive ones. Still 2 sets of the less expensive ones are a lot cheaper them the more expensive ones. Amazing how the economy of quality can get confusing. I see lots of opportunities here for you to explore.
    One of your relatives used to be a journalist with some newspapers. He was able to parachute (with lessons included), use various digital cameras, and review safety items for free.
    Will keep reading for next update on the sheets.

  15. Those sheets sound amazing and that’s really a creative way to get another pair without having to spend the money. We increase our 401k contributions when my honey gets raises. That way we never see it but we’re still saving it.

  16. I think there is a direct correlation between money made and money spent. I like you, used to make less money, so I spent less. When I got married and our income increased, I still didn’t want to spend the money. It is like the only thing that didn’t change was my mindset. I like yours…review idea…if not, get the deserve it!

  17. I understand your gut – I tend to have a gut that hates spending money. But part of a relationship is intelligent compromise, and I think if you don’t get the free sheets, you should definitely buy the sheets – and here’s why.

    You’ve said your previous sheets lasted 6 years. Assuming that the new sheets last that long, you’re looking at 6 years for $150. Working that out, that’s more than 2000 days for $150 – or less than $0.10 day. Which is really not the lifestyle inflation you should be on guard against. The extra restuarant meal/month will be $2/day likely. That’s the kind of lifestyle enhancement people don’t see, and need to worry about.

    Now, of course, many dimes/day can add up, so you shouldn’t use my advice to lose your mind and spend profligately. But, that’s unlikely your problem, and a dime a day for a happy husband who gets a vote in financial decisions — that’s an investment you can take to the bank.

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