How much does it cost to be you?

A great question and another inspiring blog post by David Cain. If the question intrigues you as it did me, take a minute to read his full post. Here’s a taste:
“We have an almost automatic tendency to increase our standard of living the moment our income increases. If you’re like most people, when your pay increases by another $500 a month, the first thing you decide is what additional $500-per-month thing you can now afford to enjoy, which is the same as deciding what additional $500-per-month expense you now wish to take on.”
2013 marks the beginning of a new phase in my life and Mr. Cain shows the way:
“My focus in 2013 is to redesign my lifestyle so that I experience affluence within my means. In other words, I will create a lifestyle where the essentials are taken care of first and fully, and which altogether costs significantly less than I earn. No more pushing at the edge of my means just because there appears to be space to do so.”
And a thought-provoking take on the American Dream:
“It creates a cultural consciousness where we take for granted that later is generally better than now. Later is fertile for happiness, now is not quite adequate. Because we feel like later is when we’re going to have our ducks in a row, we more easily overlook foolish habits that we have now, like spending on indulgences when we’re not even saving for retirement.”