Kristen McQuillin wrote a very thought-provoking article about how luxuries in your life progress to habits, and on to entitlements — things you just have to have. She describes it with this simple diagram:
Luxury –> Habit –> Entitlement
I can think of a few things in my life that have progressed this way. Coffee in the morning. Annual ski trips. Computer gear. There's probably a few more.
It's sometimes good to take some time and think about the things you really need. Like my post yesterday about web browser features, it's sometimes surprising how little you actually need when you really think about it.
The article that spurred on her post, 12 new ‘necessities’ that drain your cash, is also interesting reading.