Creating a personal finance system for financial success

A phenomenon that is often less obvious to most people is lifestyle inflation, otherwise known as ‘lifestyle creep’. It occurs when a rise in discretionary income, the amount available to an individual after making essential expenses, prompts an increase in living standards as luxuries become new necessities.

To this end, FBNQuest Asset Management Limited says: “Financial literacy is an important aspect of learning what strongly impacts your quality of life. It affects your ability to navigate through economic downturns and your response to unexpected financial windfalls.

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“Changes in financial fortunes happen to us in varying measures, influencing how we save, spend and invest. Without a plan, it becomes more difficult to resist increased spending, the urge to upgrade our cable subscription, enjoy fine dining, add more items to our cart, and add a few more luxuries to our travel experience. The list of possibilities is endless when we have more money to spend on optional items.  It all adds up quickly and when we adapt to our new lifestyle, it becomes more challenging to give up former luxuries that now feel like necessities.”

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According to the Assets Management firm, “A measure of lifestyle inflation is unavoidable and not entirely unacceptable. It is okay to reward ourselves, however we must avoid situations where subtle increases in our expenses become obstacles on path to achieving our financial goals.

“ Research in the United States indicates that most inflation-adjusted wage growth occurs in  early working years of the population. It is likely that a similar pattern occurs in Nigeria.

“This implies that failure to keep lifestyle inflation under control in your early working life may cost you the opportunity to make investments that will be more valuable later in your career. Lifestyle inflation can be best managed by creating a system that makes it easy to save and invest your money.”

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