Avoiding spending triggers

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Lifestyle inflation happens when your standards rise, and so does your spending.

This isn’t a bad thing if your income is rising, too, and you’ve allocated money to meet your needs.

But maybe you just need a reality check. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

To hedge against overspending, calculate phantom costs into what you buy. When you splurge on that $300 cashmere sweater, factor in a higher dry cleaning bill, too.

When life throws you a luxury, don’t get used to it. It’s easy to get used to the good life with all of Groupon’s half-off massages. But make sure you can distinguish between the occasional treat and everyday expectations.

Maybe you’ve been unemployed and just landed a job. You probably have some pent-up demand and are ready to spend. It’s OK to indulge in small ways as long as you’re back on stable financial footing.

Oh, and spend less time on Facebook. It’s easy to lust over other people’s lives filled with new cars and exotic vacations. But they’re probably not posting pictures of their sky-high credit card bills, too.

Want to learn more about money management? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.