how to fight lifestyle creep

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BeckyO
Posts: 926
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:32 am

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by BeckyO »

The rent I pay is steep, but I have 3 guaranteed incomes and I do get so much bang for my buck including all maintenance, utilities, cable, wifi, "help I've fallen button" transportation to professional appoinitments, shopping, and fun trips, weekly housekeeping. washing dishes, floors, changing the bed (liens supplied, even for my guests), laundering the linens, even the ones I use for visitors to my pull out couch, 3 hot meals a day in the dining room or brought to me free if I am sick or if I want to pay a small fee for room service. free washers and dryers on each floor, library, activity room, very pretty TV/ living room with fireplace, large garden/patio out back, covered front porches with rockers and chairs, a free coffee bar ,self serve, open all day with coffee, reg and decaf, lemonade and water, fresh fruit, sweet and or savory treats on the shelf or in the little frig, vending machines, not free, LOL with drinks and snacks, 8 planned activities per day snacks and drinks free in between, free apartment for family or friends for 1 week if I reserve it in advance A free room/apt for me, and meals, at one of the 399 plus places across the USA, for oe week at each, if I reserve in advance. I can take a guest with me, might have to pay for the guest's food ($5) We could also use their reg scheduled local transportation.
Not every body has a balcony. There are larger 2 bed apts and smaller studios I have I bed, I bath, huge walk-in closet, and a large living rm kitchenette combo with balcony
I've prob forgotten something. But
I think it is worth it, particularly since even routine household maintenance is beyond my physical limits now. It maintains my independence if I don't have to ask family and friends for help. I also only have one large payment to make and it is the same from one month to the next
Last edited by BeckyO on Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RecoveringDreamer
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:00 pm

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by RecoveringDreamer »

ohjodi wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:21 pm
I HIGHLY recommend "All Your Worth" by Elizabeth Warren (written long before she became a Senator), and also her book "The Two-Income Trap" Look them up on Amazon and take a look with the "look inside" preview. The "two income trap" book is geared towards parents, but it's information and advice is for everyone.
I wanted to update you. I read All Your Worth. It was fantastic. I loved how she broke everything down. I ran the numbers on our situation. Our minimum expenses are a hair over 50%, entirely because of the debt we racked up after DH's accident last year. We are working hard to knock those down, however. We are also saving/paying extra to debt to the tune of 30+%. She suggests 20% with the remaining 30% left over for living. That being said, since we quit drinking and I work all evenings so we can't do dates during the week, we are basically spending however we want and 20% is just fine. We have even been treating ourselves to nicer dates ($50 for two tickets, plus $10 for soda for a show at the comedy club to see one of our favorites) and still are well within budget. I like that she encouraged spending some money on enjoying life. I have a tendency to clench those pennies and then resentment builds. This way, I'm able to ensure that I keep my spirits up, which makes the 12 hour days more manageable.

It is a great book and I love that it has helped us evaluate our new situation and make sure to keep things in check. Thank you so much for the recommendation. It has been a great tool during my transition.
A Life Beyond Money
Self Sufficiency. Simple Living. Frugality.

www.alifebeyondmoney.blogspot.com

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Jackielou
Posts: 7757
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by Jackielou »

We don't live in the same house we were in when we were first married. That home was a mobile home and was only ever something to start out in. However we did live in it (and it followed us from job to job) for almost 10 years.

We bought this home and have stayed in it ever since. Doing what we could to increase it's value, however, now house prices have dropped so we will probably stay here until we can no longer continue with our own maintenance and then move to a condo somewhere in town.

We didn't always live below our means, but once we started that path kept right on going. Now we are debt free, can pay cash for whatever we choose, and take the occasional trip. Life is good.

frugalmom
Posts: 1371
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by frugalmom »

ohjodi wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:21 pm
RecoveringDreamer wrote:Ooh. Much needed thoughts.


Sorry for the ramble. I have just been discussing this with DH today. I'm very worried about falling into the trap of constantly "treating myself because I deserve it" and never getting ahead despite a huge increase in income, and recognizing that certain aspects of our lives aren't working and I need to upgrade.
I HIGHLY recommend "All Your Worth" by Elizabeth Warren (written long before she became a Senator), and also her book "The Two-Income Trap" Look them up on Amazon and take a look with the "look inside" preview. The "two income trap" book is geared towards parents, but it's information and advice is for everyone.

I had read both of them some time ago, just before I had moved out to Pittsburgh to live with my boyfriend (that lasted four years, lol). I am so glad I did. The jist of it is that your basic bare-bones living expenses should never exceed 50% of your income (including spouse/partner income)partly because disability/unemployment/parttime work is often 50% of so of regular work pay . Obviously this is near impossible if you're earning minimum wage and living alone (but there is other great advice for even that situation). You include rent, utilities, insurance, transportation, food, minimal cell phone, .....but not cable tv, entertainment, clothing, gifts, eating out, etc. The remaining money goes to debt, savings, and the other things above.

The idea is that by not exceeding 50%, you are better able to survive if one person, or you alone, should lose your job or become sick or disabled, etc. (Or even if one person splits....which is what I did, LOL)

In my case, it helped me realize that despite our hole-in-the-wall apartment, I did not want to move to a better place, because the increased rent, transportation, etc, would have made it terribly hard if either one of us was not working (and he was actually a TEMP!). And I knew I wanted to move back home, to Illinois. So while he was scouting craigslist for apartments, I frustrated him by being disinterested.

So I paid off debt, socked away money in my 401k, built a small savings (and still had plenty left to order Chinese too often, and take trips back home to Illinois, etc)

When I was finally able to leave, I paid him two more months of rent/etc and left him with the apartment (which HE could afford because it was cheap, and he lived there for two more years). When I got back to Illinois, a disability crept up on me and I was only earning $600/mo. I lived off savings, cashed in my 401k (a $3k investment was still $15k after penalty and fees) lived off that, and when that ran out I applied for SS Disability, and got it in just four months.

The moral of the story is.........those books kept my head in the right place. I lived according to the "worst case scenario", and when I was finally able to leave, I could afford it, he was not mad about it, and I was able to survive on my own.

So earning more money is exciting, and it can be a big relief, but in today's economy, and as we age we're more likely to have illness, never take it for granted.

Figure out how to manage on 1/2 your income, or just one income. I know that's how you've been living, and while you should make quality of life improvements, think out a worst-case-scenario solution ahead of time.

BetterWorldBooks.com is a great source for used books....most are $3.95 free shipping.
I like Elizabeth Warren-think she should run for VP or President! I read one of her books but I will look for that other one. She has good advice and for the most part we try to love off half our income for a long time but it is getting harder and harder as our income is shrinking and shrinking! But we try to still do that as much as possible sometimes a little over half maybe 60%.

frugalmom
Posts: 1371
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by frugalmom »

I don't know how I missed this article-good one! I believe in the same thing-same spouse especially if he is good and on the same page. I see how divorce after 37 years of marriage affected y bil recently and automatically lost half his income of 3 million dollars just in property not including cash he saved up. Based on a bus driver's income although he worked three jobs in the earlier years. It is sad to see-he did not end up caring about the money after all and all the years he tried to protect it-he was just so upset she left him after all those years.

We bought a starter house and made money more than double to buy a new house which is the one we stayed in and thinking it may be our forever house since paid off. My dh always says we would never be able to get a house like this again-bc everything has skyrocketed(a house down the street sold in one day and it did not even hit the market and investors swept it up in cash and overbid-that is how hot it is out here.

Same car-well we had some cars over the years but our cars lasted til over 300k and we drive each to the ground or til it gets into an accident(that one was over 300k anyway!). The one I am driving is around 269k right now-I am hoping it lasts much longer than 300k!

RecoveringDreamer
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:00 pm

Re: how to fight lifestyle creep

Post by RecoveringDreamer »

frugalmom wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:36 pm
Same car-well we had some cars over the years but our cars lasted til over 300k and we drive each to the ground or til it gets into an accident(that one was over 300k anyway!). The one I am driving is around 269k right now-I am hoping it lasts much longer than 300k!
We are also aiming for 300k on our cars. DH has a Nissan van with 201k and my Honda Accord has 198k. Our Honda Civic was driving perfectly fine at 284k, but it was totaled in a wreck. My mom's cousin is a mechanic and charges us the family rate, so most repairs are not bank-breaking. My Dad just got his truck's transmission changed by our cousin: $380 for a used transmission from the junk yard, $180 in labor. Can't beat it.
A Life Beyond Money
Self Sufficiency. Simple Living. Frugality.

www.alifebeyondmoney.blogspot.com

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