Can’t Keep Up? 5 Reasons to Cap Your Lifestyle

What do you mean cap my lifestyle! I want more! Just like anyone I feel the pull to increase my lifestyle all the time. It is the American way, man. Bigger house, nicer car, fancier vacations, better schools.

16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 ESV

About the only TV shows I watch are sports or news…well the occasional Paw Patrol or Bob the Builder with my three-year-old.

I like watching our local Fox news program, and my favorite segment is “Your World with Neil Cavuto”. A week or so ago I heard this stat—

48% of all Americans only have one month of emergency funds (money available in case of an emergency). And, shockingly, 20% don’t have any savings at all!

I am a proponent of creating wealth and amassing resources through investing and business ownership. I think it is even biblical to do so. I don’t agree with a poverty approach to life. In fact, I think that is selfish and lazy.

It is a blessing from God to have more than you need.

However, creating wealth is very different from increasing lifestyle.  

For some reason we have bought into the lie that if we increase our lifestyle our happiness and fulfillment will proportionately increase. I haven’t found anyone who has tried this able to convince me that it works. It hasn’t worked in my life.

Hoarding is also different from creating wealth.

Not much difference between the person who worries about how they will eat each day and the person sitting on millions afraid that they will lose it all. Fear motivates both.

The other day I heard the statement, “capping your lifestyle”.

It made me think. In some ways, Danielle and I have taken this approach over the past several years. But honestly, the main motivation was to save money. We both enjoy the security that being debt-free and a healthy emergency fund brings.

However, the context of the statement about capping your lifestyle involved a lot more than saving money for security sake.

I see value in sitting down with my wife and coming up with a plan for a capped lifestyle. We need to decide what kind of lifestyle is right for us. Being in agreement about this will bring harmony in our desires and financial decisions.

Then we need to have a plan for what to do with the surplus!

But, lets take a step back. I imagine many of you are reading this not convinced you want to cap your lifestyle. Well here are a few reasons why that come to mind.


I have blogged about how the accumulation of stuff makes life more complicated—The Great Ownership Hoax and The Minimalist Guide to a Missional Lifestyle.

Prepare for the future.

God says it is wise to prepare for the future yet do so without worry. The book of Proverbs is full of wise counsel.

Reduce stress.

Less maintenance; less or no debt; less concern for keeping up appearances. I can think of many ways that capping my lifestyle reduces stress.

Adjust focus.

Two sources this week drove a point home for me. My take-away is this, “Do I notice what God notices?”. If I focused on increasing my lifestyle, I probably am not paying attention to what really needs attention.


Have you said or thought this—”If I only had more money, I would love to give to (fill in the blank with a cause).”

Which legacy do I want to leave when I pass on? An accumulation of things stored in houses and storage units? Or, lives touched by the resources passed on to them.

Thanks for pondering this thought with me. Now its time for me to put some things in motion in our household. 

Maybe I will give you an update later about how we capped our lifestyle and began giving more.

What are some more reasons to cap your lifestyle?

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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