The big problem most people have with their finances is not the high cost of living. It is the high cost of keeping up with the Joneses!
There is a lot of truth to the old saying that we buy things we do not need to impress people we do not like. Why else do we break our budgets to buy something new, improved, faster, and better, when what we have is working just fine? Why do we continually increase our credit lines to purchase non-essentials?
The cost of keeping up with the Joneses is high. It keeps our nose to the grindstone when we ought to rest. It forces us to live in slavery to creditors. And sometimes it causes stress, fear, divorce, and bankruptcy.
Keeping up with the Joneses is what the Good Book calls "pride", and pride usually precedes some sort of fall.