If you're a great performer at work, you probably can't wait for the next raise. There are two top reasons. One is you acknowledge your responsibility as a grown-up and you know you have to save more and invest for your (early) retirement and make sure that you will have enough money to support you until your later days.
The second reason might be your plan to elevate your lifestyle. Don't feel guilty; somehow at some point in our lives, we all want to live the lifestyle we feel we deserve.
The pay raise came, and you immediately pump up your lifestyle to match your idols and other people you want to hang out with. Sooner than you expect, you'll realize that either you ended up with no money left to save or the amount left for savings did not really increase as much.
What are the chances that the same thing will happen again and again? Very huge, that is, if you don't take not of the following ideas regarding lifestyle inflation.
Prioritize sustainable living is over lifestyle change
Before you think of increasing your spending, you have to realize first that you still have to live on. Survival is the basic goal in life and your survival is in jeopardy if your spending is directly proportional to your income.
You must always keep a fixed budget for your expenses and make sure that your basic expenses won't increase unless there's any substantial reason.
Save before you spend
To the average person, spending is more attractive than saving because you can get the things you want immediately when you spend. Saving only gives you more money, not the things you want.
The truth is saving makes it possible for you to spend money to get what you want in the future. When you get a pay raise, make sure you allot money for savings first, and then spend what's left. This is to make sure that you won't be broke in the future. It's great to have savings because you won't know when you'll lose your job or your ability to actively earn money.
Have a sense of urgency
Complacency destroys your finances and you won't notice it until it's too late. It's so easy to disobey your own budget when you know you will still have your job tomorrow and that you'll get more money the next pay day. But when everything turns against you, you will have to find new ways to earn money and hope that you still have an ample amount of savings.
What if you don't? There's the problem.
You will never know when misfortune will come, and this is enough reason to prepare for the worst. When you have a strong sense of urgency, you will be able to not only manage your money well but also perform better at work.
Stay away from new debt
Another sign of lifestyle inflation is massive amounts of debt. Having a pay raise doesn't mean earning the privilege to acquire more debt. Remember, debt unpaid in full will always be a liability. It will not go away.
Acquiring more debt will just add to your expenses and because of this, you'll realize that you cannot feel your pay raise anymore because your expenses had a raise too.
Spend time with people with same financial goals
If peer pressure is your problem, then the best solution for you is renewing your social network roster. You don't have to hang out with people who will just make you feel obliged to spend beyond what you need. You don't have to stay with people who criticize your financial discipline.
There are people everywhere who are as disciplined as you, and you will feel better with your financial plans when you have them as friends. They may even give you awesome tips on how to maximize your raise and elevate your lifestyle without increasing your spending.
Acknowledge the importance of your personal goals
Personal goals are goals that you imposed on yourself because you know that it's for your best. Take note that everything you do, no matter how small it is, will have an effect on your way of life.
You are the one who earn your salary, and only you can decide if you do what's best for your life. Choose your important personal goals over immediate pleasures and in the end; you'll be happy to make the right choice.