+1 again. There's a really nice article by Prudential (http://www.bringyourchallenges.com/roundtable/letting-go-of-keeping-up) that specifically addresses conspicuous consumption and the desire to "keep up with the Joneses" in lieu of the Joneses now also being easily accessible info/photo/social media on celebrities. The point is that many of us no longer find just our neighbors, who might be in similar income ranges, aspirational or peers. The Joneses family for the average American family has suddenly expanded thanks to social media and reality TV shows which give 24-7 coverage of what celebrities do both for work and play, and many of us, whether purposefully or not, are exposed to and aspire to things that make no sense for our purses (pun intended). If the average worker is making $50,000 USD annual salary in the USA, one must admit it is an entirely different thing for this person to pay $$$ - $$$$ for any discretionary item compared to someone who is making 100x that salary. Indeed, there are many workers making $400,000 USD per annum who can afford thousands more than the average worker for discretionary items, but that doesn't disqualify discretionary items that are not $$$+ from being "luxury." I can go into the grocery store and find dozens of items that are more expensive than others simply because of branding or perceived superior taste (and sometimes there's truth to it); I also classify those as luxury food items, or "gourmet" even. There's no reason 3 pieces of chocolate should be $10, but we've assigned value to it. The first time I spent the equivalent of $100 USD on a handbag I was a bit shocked at myself. I wanted it because it was too cute to pass up, even though it was double what I normally would've paid. As time goes on, it becomes an easy/slippery slope to glide on the more I earn, I've found. I've been trying to keep it in check. I imagine many people with any fiscal responsibility try to keep in mind to make discretionary expenses much less than income, lol. For this reason, I do consider Coach items luxury items, just the same as those "gourmet cookies" I splurge on about every 6-10 weeks instead of baking at home.