I went for vacation this year - to visit friends up in their farm cottage and then another friend in a bigger city. I could hardly afford the tickets and was long looking for possible options involving every possible form of transportation to figure out the cheapest. I thought I might be able to stay in NY for a few days in a hostel or something... forget it.
anyway, I feel I am really trying to live thrifty, save as much as I can, not spending much on anything else than necessities. And with all of that, I still consider myself lucky and relatively rich. I am living the most rich life (materialistically speaking) I've ever had. I eat foods I didn't have as a kid or young adult. I can afford my own apt now (rental of course) which takes almost half of my salary. I have much more than my mom after working very hard for most of her life. I have clothes that fit. Many of them are new (even if bought online) or almost new. I am lucky even without a car or expensive gadgets.
I don't take things for granted. with all that I have I don't whine, b/c I know most of the people in this country have it much worse than I have. they can't have any savings, even the little ones. they can't afford health insurance or healthy food. I am lucky and I do say it with full thought behind, not to pretend to be modest or whatever.