You can't out-frugal your way to rich

Illustration: Jen Troyer

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Cutting back is good, and there are many ways to do it. Eventually, though, you hit a limit (e.g., you don’t have to eat lobster every night, but you do have to eat). However, there's really no limit to how much you can earn, says Ramit Sethi, whose blog, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, spawned a book of the same name. While it's easy to get caught up in scrimping and saving, many people neglect the possibility of making more money, whether through negotiating a raise or finding a way to bring in extra income using a valuable skill (Sethi has seen many people bring in an extra $1,000 a month by offering their PowerPoint, organizing and cooking know-how).