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Just Because You Can Pay For It, Doesn't Mean You Should
When Paul Sullivan, who writes The New York Times' Wealth Matters column, was doing research for his new book The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of the Super Wealthy, he and Brad Klontz, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Kansas State University, examined the differences between people in the top five-to-10 percent income bracket and those in the top one percent. Both groups spent about the same percentage of their incomes on food, housing and other areas, with a few surprising exceptions. The most notable: Those in the top one percent spent 30 percent less of their money eating out at restaurants. Sullivan noticed similar restraint in many of his interviews with very wealthy people who, for instance, chose an Audi over the BMW, "If you're driving a 10-year-old beater, this may not seem like a huge sacrifice, but considering the price difference—which can be anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on the model—it suggests they don't spend quite as cavalierly as you might think."
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