As many consumers discovered during the recession, it's hard to scale back when you're used to a certain standard of living. Sometimes even when you set a budget, external factors can subtly shift your expectations -- and your spending level -- causing what some call "lifestyle inflation."
As Ramit Sethi, author of the bestselling book "I Will Teach You to be Rich," points out, lifestyle inflation happens naturally and isn't necessarily bad, assuming your income keeps pace. If it doesn't, however, you might be due for a reality check. Here are six factors that can trigger lifestyle inflation and tips to manage them.