The simple formula that will help you beat lifestyle inflation

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“I can afford it” is a thought that will stop you getting rich. It’s especially bad if it crosses your mind after you receive a raise or a new, better paid job.

Like all the most-effective lies, it is built on a destructive truth. You probably can afford whatever it is you want because you are making such a great salary here in the UAE. It’s probably also something you have always wanted. Now, it’s within your reach.

I had a teacher friend who used to pull up to work every day in a new luxury convertible. It was a very pretty car. One day I asked her about it. I thought she might be independently wealthy or have a husband making way more money than we do as teachers. But, no.

She told me something I’ve heard many times since moving to Dubai: “I figure, I’ll only be able to afford it now, while I live in Dubai, and why not live a little?” She bought it on credit, and followed that up with: “It’s probably why I’m not saving much money.”

In the financial independence world, we refer to that as “lifestyle inflation”. Basically, as you make more money, you spend more of it on nicer and nicer things – because you can afford it. There’s always something else to buy, no matter how much money you make and what you’ve bought before. Thank you capitalism.

 

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