I think the bottom line is to live within your means, i.e. do not spend more than you earn. There is no doubt in my mind that your "garden variety millionaire" aka the millionaire next door, has become so due to frugality and conservation. Many of the millionaires I know (primarily clients) are not garden variety millionaires, i.e. they've more than a million or two in net worth, and subsequently spend money on nice things for themselves, their homes, etc. And yes, it's not just about the cars, the clothes and what have you. I know a fellow who wouldn't dream of spending much more than $1,000. on a suit or $300. for a pair of shoes, drives a 7 year old Nissan, wears a black plastic casio watch on occasion, yet he takes his family (adult children & grandchildren) on lavish tropical holidays every December, travels frequently, dines out regularly and just bought a nice house outside of Harvard Square for $2m+. Cars and clothing are not priorities for him; family, good food and travel are. I cannot argue with his choices: he lives well, pays cash for everything, takes good care of his family and puts away enough annually for a very comfortable retirement. And in fact, he does not dress shabbily, just not up to the rarified standards of most SF-ers (mostly BB). Conversely, I know another fellow who lives in an extremely large house in Brookline, who has a walk-in closet that resembles a small boutique in a fine men's shop, replete with built-in mahogany floor to ceiling cabinetry, wainscoting & crown molding. Suffice to say he likes clothes and is not afraid to spend money, which he has lots of. Another fellow (these latter 2 are clients) lives in a large house in Dedham, with a walk-in cedar closet that is approx. 8' x 15' in dimension. In it he has over 140 suits, many of them bespoke with an endless assortment of pressed and folded shirts and ties arrayed on a running shelf above them; it is most impressive. Interestingly he has only about 6 pairs of shoes, although several are Lattanzi custom. He is a senior partner at one of the top Boston law firms , so looking good is of paramount importance. His rides consist of an older red dented Jeep cherokee and a gray Taurus wagon of indiscriminate age (does it really matter?), yet last year he spent over $100k on a hand made Italian concert grand piano (Fazioli). Personally I'd probably have chosen the Maserati coupe over the Fazioli piano, but it is the music he is passionate about, not the car he drives; he plays reasonably well, to my ear. I work for wealthy people, alas I am not one of them. I am still trying to learn to live within my means, which at this point does not include $800 E. Green shoes even at the $450 I just paid for them, or the BMW 330CI in my driveway, lovely though they both are. At the rate I am going I will never be a millionare, but will end up very well shod standing next to my broken down vintage bimmer that I cannot afford to fix, holding a sign reading "will work for shoes, er, food."