I can't tell how many of them are just pretending, as I once did, that they can afford to eat out seven days out of seven, take cabs hither and yon, and wear whatever "Sex and the City" dictates. Nobody talks about money.
It's just assumed that you have more than enough of it. To indicate otherwise is gauche, embarrassing and somehow sets you apart. You're supposed to be keeping up with the Joneses, even if you have no idea who those Joneses are. Just keep your eye on what everyone else is doing (and spending) and do likewise.
Patrick and I have tried to be better about our money. We started a budget, use a budgeting program (into which I'm constantly forgetting to enter my receipts...bad bad bad), and really tried to be more conscious of our spending. But it is HARD. Especially when I see other people/friends, who I know make the same or even less money than we do and are droppin' it like it's hot. I have to remind myself constantly that we are trying not to be slaves to credit cards, that eventually I would like to stay home with our babies, that we are called on to give back to our church, and that it is better to give our money away to people that really need it instead of just increasing our stash of stuff. I am so selfish.
I was listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled "What is this Recession for?" as I walked on the treadmill last night. One of the points he made was that economic recession is good for us because it gives us a better sense of the other 2/3rds of the world for whom "recessions don't come and go, they just come and come and come." It was convicting and encouraging at the same time. I will leave you with his words of how God has relocated our joy as Christians. They have also become my prayer:
Our joy is not rooted in circumstances.
God has relocated our joy in his grace, not our goods—in his mercy, not our money, in his worth, not our wealth.