On (possibly) succumbing to lifestyle creep


Screengrab from the MySky site

Among the cardinal sins of personal finance: Buying too much car. Too much house. Spending more than you earn. And that other disingenuous trap, lifestyle creep.

It began when I picked up the phone (in itself, that is quite something – our landline doesn’t work half the time; I think it’s to do with the battery not charging properly, or something.) On the other end was a woman from SKY TV offering us free MySky for six months. Because I pretty much never sign up to anything on the spot, I asked her to call back.

But really, it was a done deal. The boy has been angling for MySky for a while; we just didn’t want to pay for it. Not for the installation, not for the ongoing costs. This way, we got it totally free, and after six months, we’d just pay the monthly fee ($15, if I recall correctly).

Then the other night, he came out with this gem: “You know, I think we’re spending more on pay-per-view movies than we would on Sky Movies.”


What’s this WE stuff? Excuse me? You’re the one who books all the damn things; I have better things to do. Like bake. And read. And play guitar. And freelance. And run.

Except for those, er, once-in-a-blue-moon occasions when I DO sit down and watch one with him. Hmph.

While our early bills started out with maybe one movie a month, now it’s crept up to three or even four. Plus we already pay $10 a month for two movies from Fatso (love the no late fees) and sometimes rent even more from the video store up the road.

So yes, at $20 a month for a bunch of movie channels – which we can record and keep indefinitely with MySky – it probably was a better deal.

I hemmed and hawed, but the thing about technology these days is that it’s just getting harder to put off decision-making! There was the Upgrade Channel, on the telly screen, staring us in the face. I couldn’t use the excuse “oh, I’ll ring them tomorrow and set it up” – nope, all we had to do was push a button to confirm the subscription.

Realistically, this is more of a tactical move to save money (the movies subscription that is; can’t really argue the same for MySky) but I can’t help thinking now we have MySky and video recording, it’ll be hard to go back. Never will I miss an episode of Glee again!

Ever fallen into the lifestyle creep trap? Where do you draw the boundaries? Do you have MySky, TiVo etc?

15 thoughts on “On (possibly) succumbing to lifestyle creep

  • Reply Amanda December 10, 2010 at 13:44

    We don’t have any television subscriptions – other than what’s available on free to air, all our media is streamed off the internet and run off the TV. Whether it’s that episode of Glee (I’m addicted too) streamed off the Fox website, or endless Youtube videos or the (admittedly illegally) downloaded classic movie, all our entertainment is off our $60 a month phone/internet package.

    • Reply eemusings December 12, 2010 at 15:58

      Really surprised you can stream all those US shows! Fox and all those are blocked to NZ. I guess better diplomatic OZ-US relations echo all the way down to the little things.

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  • Reply Tasha December 10, 2010 at 23:06

    I know what you mean! I was much more aware about spending about it but having lived with my husband (who is a killer for deals) had changed that. It took awhile to realize the lifestyle creep – in fact, I didn’t even have a name for it. Luckily, I was able to make him aware sooner than later. I also have a weakness for giving into my loved ones. Sigh.

  • Reply First Gen American December 11, 2010 at 02:31

    That’s cheap compared to the monopoly cable rates in the US. I’d do it for sure.

  • Reply Amanda December 11, 2010 at 04:32

    We have MySky cos we get it for free permanently due to ALL our phone/broadband/mum’s mobile plans being lumped into one big sum to Vodafone, and that’s the thanks we get, haha. It’s terrible though, the amount of tv that I’ve watched because of it. But also really relaxing, knowing that, if i watch a show a little behind its start time (or just later, whenever), I can skip the ads! I LOVE NOT HAVING TO WATCH ADS 😀 such a waste of time. I am never going back to ads, i swear! It’s been surprisingly hard to watch ads, since I haven’t really, for the past 6 months.

  • Reply Amanda December 11, 2010 at 04:33

    And oh yeah, we get Sky Movies. AND Sky Sport. The latter was mostly because my sister would watch the golf tournaments, and we enjoy the footy and the other footy and tennis. But it’s not really justified, shhh. My friend’s household who pay for mysky (but not sky movies) use fatso A LOT.

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  • Reply The Everyday Minimalist December 11, 2010 at 15:08

    But you would use and watch it right?? Then I say money WELL SPENT!

    Also, love this — What’s this WE stuff? Excuse me? You’re the one who books all the damn things; I have better things to do. Like bake. And read. And play guitar. And freelance. And run. LOL

  • Reply enza December 11, 2010 at 21:24

    I got rid of Sky and now just have Freeview and Tivo. The free channels and the genius of Tivo mean I pay no ongoing costs and have more TV programmes than I could possibly watch. Tivo also means I can transfer ripped or downloaded movies to my TV and all my music.

    Once your contract ends, get Freeview and Tivo (one off $450 cost) and put the $80 per month towards oven fries. Yummy.

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