But then again, when you throw money at a fancy car, you're still getting a fancy car.

As your wealth grows, I suppose  your idea of value often changes. “Comfortable” isn't what it used to be, and you experience lifestyle inflation. This is where my friend and I came to a standstill - where do you draw the line? At 20, spending a couple of hundred bucks on a phone seemed like a huge waste of money, but nowadays, it's just part of my budget. “You could just live bare bones, but why else do you have money?” my friend argued.

But then  again, a $100,000+ Porsche Carrera is pretty far from bare bones. That's an extreme example, but I see a lot of them around town, and I often wonder about the mind-set that went into spending  that much on a vehicle.

Getting off my frugal high horse

Having control over my finances makes me happier than any luxury vehicle could. But not everyone has as much  fun with frugality. I also don't get than new car  itch. But plenty of people do, and I itch for other things that some people might see as a waste.

I'm about to take a pretty pricey vacation. I've been saving up for it, and I'm relishing it, the way many luxury car lovers would relish  their purchase. I forget there's an important difference between me and people who buy fancy cars: they like fancy cars.

There are plenty of practical reasons for not buying a luxury car. But we all have the urge to  splurge on different things.

I'll end with a  question a GRS reader once posed. She wondered whether she should buy a new, luxury car. She could afford it, but she didn't  need it.

This comment was singled out as a favorite:

“If you can really afford it - you're paying cash, you're already putting enough money into your 401(k) to get the full employer match, you're putting extra money into an IRA, you've got three (or six) months extra cash saved up, you don't have any looming debt - then I think you should go for it.  That's what money's for: buying things. [...]“

I would agree with the above comment. When you're financially free and fully prepared for your financial future, money is for buying things.