For my DH and I, we are not what you could call poor. I landed a lucky job at the university we attend and he also works 30-40 hrs / wk. Plus, due to a nice raise I just got, we just pushed our gross earnings to over 40k / yr. We have no children to support, no elderly parents to support; we are pretty much free to do with our money what we want.But for us, it's not about how much more stuff we can buy or how many more square feet we can get with our increased income, it's about how we can continue to spend our money wisely.
So instead of looking through online listings for bigger and better apartments or going to the mall to buy more useless gadgets, we are making calculated changes to our budget. Our focus is to pay down our 40k combined debt, while still eating / living well. In response to the raise, we are increasing our food / household stuff budget, our savings, and how much money we are paying toward our debt each month.
We don't live on beans and rice, but we also don't eat out 3 times a week. We don't live in a studio apartment, but we do have a small one bedroom in a cheaper part of town. We don't abstain from all forms of entertainment, but we don't buy the biggest cable package or put things on credit cards.
In a word, we are striving for balance.
What do you think?