My work location recently changed from an out of the way spot to a city centre location. The old location was difficult to get to with limited food options that are not close which required twenty minutes walking to and fro the closest spot. On top, there was always a queue during lunch hour. All of this combined made getting lunch highly unattractive so I started packing my lunch to work. This was no extra work as it’s mostly leftovers from prior night or I meal prep lunch over the weekend. Doing this saved average of €30 per week as it’s three days in the office for now and I also get to eat better.
The new location is beaming with attractive food options with less queuing. Put in the added pressure of colleagues constantly asking me to go get lunch with them and a location induced lifestyle creep started for me. It suddenly became a chore to pack my lunch or prep it even when I had the time to do it. It was for sure easier to grab my bag and go without the weight of my lunch, try different cuisines and pay for it.
As I slacked in updating my spend tracker recently, it didn’t jump at me that this has happened until a colleague mentioned they brought lunch and did I bring mine. I was the advocate for bring your lunch to work and here I was slightly confused why I didn’t have my lunch with me.
Lifestyle creep can come at us in many ways. It can be going for more expensive vacation, ordering in more, increase in restaurant visit, a sudden love of YOLO or in small inconsequential ways like mine with the lunch. Most people think it only happens when you get a pay increase. No to that as it can happen anytime to anyone.
I’m going back to getting organised and having my lunch packs. I will also stay watchful of the small ways lifestyle creep creeps into my life and most importantly keep up with updating my spend tracker as it’s the best signalling tool for me.
Take some minutes to do a self audit of how lifestyle creep may be happening to you. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised.