Lifestyle inflation is the process of how we adjust our spending when we suddenly have more money than we are accustomed to. Although lifestyle inflation can be handled responsibly, most of the time people refer to it as reckless spending and the habits created. I get it. It feels great to be able to reward ourselves by allowing us to do the things we deprive ourselves of. Buying lunch while at work, purchasing a new tv or even getting a massage in Veilstone City. If we don’t catch it early, these little rewards become part of our everyday lifestyle and can slowly damage our finances like a sand tomb.
We are going to run into lifestyle inflation no matter what, and it is our job to prepare for it. Back in September, I received a $3/hour raise with the requirement to work a 40 hour week. This gave my weekly paychecks an approximate $100 boost, after taxes. Having an additional $400 a month to spend led to a sudden battle with lifestyle inflation. The way I battled and caught lifestyle inflation in five steps was to relax, aspire, reflect, strategize and stay calm.
At the end of each month’s financial review, I have a section with a few notes about my net worth. These notes reference things that I want to be clear body clear with my readers about. I feel it is important to point out that my net worth only tracks my personal assets and liabilities and not my husband’s finances. I don’t include his finances because we have not merged our finances. Even with our recent wedding, we don’t see a reason for us to merge them right now.
Treating each other’s financial pokémon teams like we do our battling pokémon teams has been working well for us these past five years. We discuss them often by talking about our problems, ideas and are open to making and listening to suggestions. We understand the basics of each other’s team, how they function and each other’s strategies behind them. When it comes to battling our finances, we do it individually and make the battling decisions ourselves.
This works for us for various reasons. We have different strategies and goals. Separate finances assist us when we are both freelancing. Our current system is equal, fair and we trust each other to control our own teams. Plus, we can always join forces for an occasional Multi Battle.
Welcome to October! The first week in October means that it’s time for September’s Review and Net Worth Update.
For those who are new to The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer, each month I write a financial review to xatu my net worth by writing down my thoughts on the previous and following months. I share these summaries so everyone can gain insight into my personal finances and my thoughts behind them.
I started tracking my net worth to measure my progress, inspired by Budgets Are Sexy, which has helped me pay closer attention to my personal finances. I have been tracking my net worth since January 2015 and writing monthly financial reviews for myself since 2016. I recommend tracking net worth because it has been such a helpful tool to see my personal finances stat changes all in one place.
I did not like vegetables when I was a youngster. I saw vegetables as a sign of maturity and adulthood. I thought that if I liked vegetables it meant I was a grown-up. Even when I got to college I resisted eating vegetables. On Facebook, I made it clear body clear in my about me section that my diet was meat, grains, fat, and cheese. However, if the vegetables were hidden in my food, like in pasta sauce, I would endure eating them.
As I started to actually behave more like an adult by started cooking for myself, I continued tricking myself into eating vegetables. Whether I made spaghetti, enchilada hot dish or pizza, I found a way to shadow sneak them into the dish. Yes, I knew they were in there and that I was going to eat them, but playing along with the facade helped me not feel like a grown-up. Tricking myself into eating vegetables helped me eat vegetables at a time when I found it hard. Today, I understand that I am a grown-up and I eat salads for lunch almost every workday. I enjoy vegetables as a regular part of my diet.
My personal finances are similar. My financial pokémon team tricks me into doing the things I know I should do but can’t quite do on my own. Its tricks make sure I pay my credit card minimum payments, splits up my money, hides money in secret bases, absorbs extra interest, and steals money for saving.
The final piece of advice my cross-country coach gave me before he passed was, “Start your 401k as soon as can and put in as much as you can.” It was my first year in college and it made no sense to me. He tried to explain it to me. I caught that involved working and retirement. I did my best to follow his advice and keep an eye out for it. The first and only time I have encountered the possibility of starting a 401k at work was five years ago. Their business manual mentioned they would pay into one after working there for 6 months, but I never met that requirement.
At the time, I missed the moral of his advice. Time is an important aspect of life and younger people need to catch as much of it while it’s abundant. Time becomes rarer as we age and that’s why older people value it so much. Time is a useful tool that us younger folk need to realize we have available to us. Like how time helps timer balls catch pokémon, it also helps our finances by using rollout, leech seed, pin missile, return and stockpile.
My first introduction to the modern smartphone was the pokégear when I was traveling in Johto as a schoolboy. It gave me access to the time, a map, music and the ability to call mom and other trainers, like Youngster Joey.
Now, it’s 17 years later and my smartphone can do much more than that original pokégear. My phone is my notebook, dictionary, email inbox, news source, trainer, and entertainment. There are countless ways to use a smartphone, and today I want to share with you all the few ways I use mine for my personal finances.
A lot of people use the website/app Mint to help them manage their personal finances. Mint is a simple, one-stop shop for people to see the current status of their finances. A user connects their bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments and bills to it. Once connected, Mint can create graphs and other ways to help their users understand their money.
Mint also has a bunch of systems set up to assist their users with their money. It’s like a chikorita using aromatherapy to restore health to a person’s finances. With all of their shell bells and grass whistles, I did not find their aromatherapy helpful and canceled my future appointments.
I tried it for at least three months and did not find it useful to me. Not all of my accounts could connect, there was too much red, my own systems were better for me and I rarely checked it. I am sure it has improved in the past two years, but I think I’m fine without it for the moment.
When I was a Youngster, I started a savings account to help teach me about banks and personal finances. At the time I thought banks were an important part of everyday society, like Pokémon Centers.
For those of you who don’t know, pokémon centers play a major role in pokémon society and culture. They are a place where trainers bring their pokémon to restore their health, store excess pokémon, offer areas for trainers to connect and all for free. Every town or city, no matter the size, has at least one. Some are even located outside of towns on routes and near caves.
In my mind, banks were a lot like pokémon centers. They kept our money safe, made trades easier, helped our finances stay healthy, everybody used them and they were free!
Before heading to college I opened my first checking account. Over the following ten years, I slowly learned that banks are not pokémon centers. Yes, they both provide storage and make trading easier, but banks are actual businesses. They can only heal our finances so much for free and they all offer different services to do that.