Why it's tricky: Personal savings rates are up
(slightly), and (slightly) more Americans are feeling financially better off than worse off
. Yay, right? Well, keep in mind that companies plan to offer raises of just 2.9 percent in 2013
, according to the U.S. Compensation Planning Survey and research by the compensation consulting firm Mercer, which barely keeps up with inflation
. And many Americans are still making up for losses sustained over the past few years.
Make it stick:
Never say "can't." A study in the August 2012 Journal of Consumer Research looked at the power of language when we're trying to talk ourselves out of something
. When participants framed a refusal as "I don't" (for example, "I don't waste my money on expensive lunches") instead of "I can't", they were more successful at resisting temptation.