Lifestyle Inflation vs Frugality

by Mike on October 18, 2010

EVOI won’t be winning the crown for the “queen of frugality” this year! There are areas where I still suffer from lifestyle inflation. OK, maybe suffer is a bit extreme because I’m enjoying my new toy that I am about to disclose below.

When asked what frugality means to me for Almost Frugal This is What Frugal Looks Like Series, I defined frugality as a prioritized lifestyle.

Last year, when I cut off my cable for 8 months, some might consider that extreme frugality. But cable wasn’t something that ranked high priority for me.

Now, on the other hand…for the last 8 years, I’ve upgraded my cell phone on average of every 2 years. My latest phone is the HTC EVO 4G Android Phone (Sprint). After rebate it comes with a $200 price tag and 2 year commitment.

I was reflecting, and my last 4 mobile devices were at or near the top of the line for their time:

  • Motorola Razr
  • MotoQ (affectionately nicknamed the RazrBerry)
  • Palm Pre

So what does this mean? Will I ever achieve the ranks of frugal guru? Probably not! But, that’s not my goal or destination either.

I can justify the purchase of smart phones because I am somewhat of a power user. I will use the mobile banking, blogging apps, multiple calendars, Twitter, Facebook, GPS navigation etc, etc, etc

I don’t get a new phone every 2 years to “keep up with the joneses”, nor am I disillusioned enough to say “I need it” (it’s definitely a want!), but it is something that I can justify spending the money on.

Consequently, while honeymooning earlier this month, I stumbled upon a Coach outlet mall. I thought I wanted a Coach handbag, but even the bags on clearance were over $150. I couldn’t justify it in my head (I’m sure hubby was happy!)

And that is what makes personal finance so interesting to me…it’s personal!

So….what about you?
What areas are you “extremely frugal” contrasted with “liberal spending”.
What are your spending priorities?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marion Vallee August 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm

kinda appreciated what you published actually. it really is not that easy to find good text toactually read (you know READ and not simply browsing through it like a zombie before moving on), so cheers mate for really not wasting my time on the god forsaken internet.

2 Rob Summar July 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

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3 football helmet visor April 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

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4 Alaina December 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Great post. I consider myself an extremely frugal person but there are still some things I splurge on.

5 Daniel October 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

I let the lifestyle inflation get to me when I got my iPhone, but I also haven’t spent a dime on apps, so they’re not spiraling out of control. It’s something I love having and is well worth the expense. I’m not out there buying a ton of accessories, and actually I’ve done a great job keeping my shopping budget under control. Everything in moderation. Sometimes spending a little extra (especially if you get a raise or other increase in income) is ok. You earned it!
.-= Daniel´s last blog ..Top 5 Movies About Money =-.

6 Chong Kong Hui October 21, 2010 at 3:19 am

Good post.
It is about prioritisation of needs and wants, not elimination of wants.

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