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.