Lifestyle Inflation! Maria's tips for Kondo-ing your life

Uncategorized Mar 07, 2020

Meet Maria Zdravkova. With a degree in Economics and a Masters in Finance, you wouldn’t imagine she’d be anything but saving-savvy.  Right?

Nope.  Maria says that the turning point for her came when she became unhappy in her job.  Burning out and needing a change, she realised she couldn’t take a few months off- she would have to go straight from this job to the next.  She didn’t have the funds.

At around the same time, Maria noticed that her boyfriend was saving around 2 times more than she was.  She looked at why this might be and saw: clothes, hairdressing bills, shoes and stuff.  Note: Maria isn’t anti-spending.  She says getting a personal trainer was really great for her, and sometimes you need to spend on yourself.  This was more a Marie Kondo style evaluation of the things that brought her joy.  Clothes she liked, wanted, needed; shoes she wore, or didn’t; beauty treatments that mattered, or didn’t.  And doing this she was able to- nearly- catch up with her boyfriend.  (Not competitive at all!)

Maria’s final drive to change came when she listened to the different advice being given to her by female, as opposed to male, friends.  While male colleagues had great advice and insights into money, female friends had less good advice (she didn’t want it on record!)

Tackling “Lifestyle Inflation” (making more = spending more) is a tough one.  A huge number of us find we are always living to our means- from payday to payday.  With rapidly increasing credit limits, some of us are living beyond them.

So what can we do to break this cycle?

1. Don’t buy when you’re blue.

Maria notes that a lot of advertising is emotionally geared.  Bad day?  Buy something.  Argument?  Buy something.  Lips too small?  Buy this.  The list goes on.

2. There’s no such thing as “it was just…”

“Nice jacket.”  “Thanks.  It was only £15.”  Sound familiar?  By buying cheap, fast fashion, you might never have to repeat an outfit.  But at what cost?  Go for quality over quantity.  If you spend a little more you might end up with fewer clothes, but a longer-lasting wardrobe.

3. Treat money like time.

Best tip from Maria- think about how many hours you would put in, to get that thing you really want.  If you really, really want it, you’d put in the time equivalent of the money you’re about to spend.  If that doesn’t bear thinking about, don’t buy it!

Best Money Book: Ramit Sethi- I Will Teach You To Be Rich.  Basic, but good.

Best Money Advice: A lovely quote here from a billionaire character in Lipstick Jungle.  “It’s not about what I can afford.  It’s about what I choose to afford.”

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