You are trapped on your lifestyle which is dependant of your income. The more you spend the more pressuring your outcome is and thus the more stress it generates. The amount of money you make has absolutely no effect on this principle as spending is relative to earning. As one is very likely to spend according to his environment, and compare to his surroundings, you can still be extremely rich and yet generate the same pressure that somebody who is not.
Consequently and still independantly of ecological consideration like a lower carbon footpring, a lifestyle that is not based on spending is more likely to be less stressful.
It is possible to evaluate each potential spending in term of the autonomy it provides. Is it a way to be sub... (how long is that purchase entertain/be useful to me) + Seedea:Utopiahanalysis/Tech4Libre
Wouldn't that be a risk for our economy as "household spendings" is a key indicator? My view is that theoretical economy is not a science yet. It is easy to see, especially now in 2009 where you can witness it directly, that even the most acclaimed economists and their models, consistantly fail to make reliable predictions. Therefore, it looks more like an ideological tool plus one has to remark that different economists have different view in regard to the current dominent system. It is fundamental to separate the ideology, "what the system should produce" from facts "what the system did produce and is currently producing". An economical system increasing inequalities and replacing political power by consuming power (it's often said that you influence the market by what you buy and the same time, a lot of people are not voting because they feel like it has absolutely no effect whatsoever) may be a good solution but this seems far from being proven.