I’m working on an episode about lifestyle inflation/hedonic treadmill and I’d love to hear your examples of ways your lives have experienced such a thing (no judgement here, just curiosities).
Lifestyle inflation from investopedia:
Lifestyle inflation refers to an increase in spending when an individual’s income goes up. Lifestyle inflation tends to become greater every time an individual gets a raise and can make it difficult to get out of debt, save for retirement or meet other big-picture financial goals. Lifestyle inflation is what causes people to get stuck in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck where they have just enough money to pay the bills every month.
Hedonic Adaptation from wikipedia:
The hedonic treadmill , also known as hedonic adaptation , is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. According to this theory, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness.
Here’s some of my examples:
- Once I had enough money to take the train over greyhound/long-distance buses, I could never go back to riding the Dirty Dog if a train was available.
- Once I had an in-unit washer/dryer, I’m not sure I would want to rent an apartment without it again.
- I now have a dishwasher, and while I can live fine without it, I certainly don’t feel gratitude for it every day, like I initially did.
- I used to think getting a hotel or hostel was super fancy people stuff, but now I book them without thinking about it, rather than trying to find a friend of a friend or a host on couchsurfing. I prefer the experience of staying with a local when doing tourism, but it’s not longer an economic necessity. Plus, when I am traveling for business, I have normalized it and even prefer it and even have certain expectations about what they will have (COFFEEMAKER IN ROOM, fitness center of some sort).
- I buy things off amazon all the time now, and have an expectation packages will come within a few days. I used to stress about online purchases for months and certainly wouldn’t buy something off amazon I could get used. now the convenience outweighs the savings to myself and the planet.
- I used to share a bathroom with 5 adults. I don’t think I would be happy to do that again, although I guess I would if it were economic necessity (as it was in London where I couldn’t afford something with less roomies.)
- Travel, generally. I barely traveled even within the state, but once I had traveled to more countries than most people will ever go to, I expect and want more.
Do you have any examples? Or tips for how to resist it.