Recently there was a meme question bopping around the intenet: "What would you do if you had a billion dollars?"
Most of the answers I saw had answers like: buy a bigger house, travel, start college funds for the kids, give to charity and friends.
What was interesting was that there was no real mention of drastic life style changes. Mainly things that would make the current life someone was leading more comfortable. When it comes down to it it's hard to picture a life style extremely different than your own.
But juxtapose this with a recent very highly-publicized and hotly contested divorce going on in our state involving our former governor (I won't give more details than that - if you know who it is you know all about it; if you don't - trust me, you don't want details). The former first lady is complaining that her life style has gone dramatically downhill now that she does not have a $51,000 monthly budget. She has to shop at the Gap now instead of Nordstroms. She had to give up State Police protection, a driver and two summer houses at the store.
Excuse me - but the Gap is a store we buy stuff at when we want to splurge a little bit - or if they have good sales going on. And $51,000 a month? I can't imagine how to spend that much money in a month.
My husband pointed an item out to me in an ad today - a $249 remote control. It has an LCD screen. I don't know what else it does. Make dinner for you? I can't imagine spending nearly $300 for a remote. Heck, I'll get up and turn the TV off manually (if you can find the power button on these new TVs)
There must be people out there who looked at that remote for sale and said "ooh - must get, it's only $250 this week." Maybe these are the same people who by the 72" TVs that they need a whole room devoted to.
Maybe the thing keeping me middle class is not a lack of money - but a lack of imagination.
(I think it has a lot to do with lack of money)