It's true that they didn't get a huge raise, but it does help a lot still. At the end of the day you will only get ahead in life by conserving your assets and saving. I don't make a ton of money, but I still have been able to put away a nice nest egg with hard work and some savings. The keys to a successful financial life that you always hear from the experts are to:
1. Put away the max in your 401k that your employer will match. For me 5% with a 4% match. For most people it is 3%.
2. Use term life insurance like Suzy Orman and Dave Ramsey recommend, its only $20 online at Life Ant for instance.
3. Save the difference to a Roth IRA. It comes out tax free.