Don’t fall prey to lifestyle creep

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A few years ago, my best friend said something that really stuck with me. The gist was this: It doesn’t matter whether you make $25,000 or $100,000 a year – you’ll still feel like you don’t have enough money.

That’s easy for someone making $100,000 to say, I thought at the time.

But here’s the thing. She was right. In the span of a few years, I went from being an intern to a legit professional. My salary doubled, but I was still living paycheck to paycheck.

The reason? Lifestyle creep.

“People who see their income increase, a lot of times they’re just not that much better off,” says Brian Madgett, head of consumer education at New York Life. “Because as your income changes, you give yourself permission to spend more money.”

You buy nicer clothes. You upgrade your living arrangements. You go on vacations. You pay for conveniences.

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