As I have said many times before, those of us who are not trust fund babies or have won the lottery, there is only one way to accumulate wealth: by saving. In other words, you have to live below your means and invest the remaining funds. Where else will the money come from if not from spending less than you earn?
How to shop according to your values?
One of the things that I notice among most of my friends and family members who have no wealth (other than a little bit of equity in their homes, in case they have not tapped it to pay for even more home improvement or for a vacation or wedding) is that they literally spend every penny they earn and they always have the cleverest response if you ask them why they need something. If it is a bigger home, it is because they are having yet one more kid or the kids want more room, they keep buying bigger cars just to fill it up with their kids and their friends, their phones are upgraded every two years because they are trapped in these cell phone plans that force them to pay huge amounts each month to pay for them, and then the companies send them another enticing offer at the end of two years, and everything else that they spend their money on.
Now, I would not criticize their spending if they were wealthy but these folks count every penny and live under tremendous stress. A job loss for even a few weeks is disastrous for their finances, because they are then lining up at a food bank (of course, in their huge SUV).
That is why I tell you to completely rethink what you buy and at what price. If you think that anyone else in the world cares for your Rolex watch or iPhone or latest model BMW, think again, they don't. They might be polite and tell you how awesome you are but ultimately what matters is if you go to bed at night in peace. In other words, do not do anything to impress others or keep coming up with an excuse because some advertiser has convinced you that "you are worth it." Secret: these companies just want your money by creating a false sense in your brain that you are rich enough to buy their product.