As you plug away at your New Year's resolutions, don't confuse the goal with the reward.
If you shop at Whole Foods, hire someone to clean your home or have seen "Hamilton" on Broadway, plenty of your fellow Americans think you've "made it" financially or are living the American dream, according to a survey from money management site You Need A Budget and research company OnePoll. They polled 2,000 working adults in October. (See an expanded list of results, below.)
"It sounds like the elements are backwards," said Bruce McClary, a spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. "Those are the rewards for getting the goals — they're not the goals."