Buried in Ben's thoughtful piece is a very important observation. With regard to personal expenditures, not every decision is rational and even the "irrational" may add to the quality of life. Of course, current quality of life choices can be very expensive in the context of abandoned long-term investment and growth opportunities -- also known as "shoulda, woulda, coulda" opportunities. But, at the end of the day, everyone has to make their own choices and be responsible for the outcomes of those choices. You can lead a horse to water . . . .