Jason and I have honestly always tried to live beneath our means and so far it has worked out for us very well. It just always made us feel more secure to know that there was wiggle room in what we bought and what we could actually afford.
When we have bought houses, we got mortgages that we could more easily afford in case something came up with jobs or medical situations. We could have gotten much larger mortgages and houses but then you've got to pay for them and the bigger they are the less extra wiggle room you have if any.
It has been our goal for a long time to become completely debt free, no mortgage, no debt of any kind. We have always tried to pay extra when we could on any loans we've had. This helps to pay them off faster and also pay less interest to the lender. We also are perfectly happy enjoying our home and local area on vacation instead of taking trips. We don't really have to have the latest and greatest electronic devices. It means much more to me to one day have the financial and personal freedom of being debt free than having a super huge house would. Hey, I still have to clean the thing, so I don't want to get too big any way.
This idea works for just about anything though. Different people have different goals and passions as well. I know people live for great vacations. I know people who would like to be able to provide their children with college educations with no debt. I know people who are really into cars and other vehicles. Whatever your passion, if you live beneath your means on the things that don't matter as much to you, you will have more money to spend on those passions or at least give you a little more piece of mind. My motto has always been to spend as little as possible on the things that I don't care much about so that I have the money for the things I love.
Living on a house of cards that could topple at any time is a very stressful and difficult way to live. Do yourself a favor and ask yourself before you make purchases or financial decisions, is this really important to me or will it help me get to where I want to be? If not, why not think about it a little longer or find other options that support your passions and your goals.