Following is a letter from Dave Ramsey's website. It shows the importance of paying attention to how you spend your money. If you are careful in the beginning it will pay off BIG in the end.
Paying Our Fair Share
By Mike in NE
We married in 1969 at 19 and 21 with no money but no debt. Our friends had student loans, but I worked a full-time job, and it took me five years to graduate.
Our friends bought new houses with big mortgages. We built our house and borrowed only what we needed. Our friends bought new cars with financing. We bought used cars for cash. Our friends bought vacation homes at the lake (with mortgages). We invested the $5,000 we had in a business (which now pays more than $750,000 per year in salaries). Our friends went on expensive vacations with their credit cards. We bought investment properties for cash.
So in 2009, we have a net worth of more than $6,000,000 and are cash flowing about $1,000,000 per year. Now we have several homes. We go to Europe whenever we want. We buy whichever new car we want for cash, but only one for each of us about every five to seven years because of our conservative nature. We paid about $300,000 in 2008 for state and federal income tax. Tell me why we should feel guilty for being too "acquisitive." Do you think we are "stepping up to the plate" and "paying our fair share"?