It doesn't make you happy, she said. I'm happier with no money.
Now she doesn't have no money at all. But she doesn't live extravagantly because she can't afford to. And she's ok with that right now.
Lifestyle inflation is when you make more money so your lifestyle changes to incorporate the new things you can afford. Lifestyle deflation on the other hand, is when you have to cut out what's not necessary because your circumstances have changed.
Whether its its through a new devotion to minimalism or because you lost your job or whatever - it can be very jarring at first but then it becomes your new normal.
When I was newly redundant and still trying to keep up with my friends whose socialising always circled around going out for drinks in expensive places, I was so unhappy. I didn't manage to convince many people to do cheap and cheerful things which were few and far between in the city and it made me think about what I actually like doing as opposed to what I can afford to do.
Hopefully now I am more sensitive to other people's financial situations, and I'm trying to embrace my own lifestyle deflation.