How many times have you asked your spouse (or friend or co-worker) that question? You see your neighbor driving a new car or taking a nice vacation and you wonder how he can afford it. I mean, you can't afford those things. Well here's the answer - he can't afford it. He's probably in debt. And if you try to keep up, you will be in debt too.
This is still a conversation in our house. And my husband and I have had this conversation many times. We know what our income is and we know what our friend does - so we can estimate his income. But this friend seems to have so much more disposable income. And we question why we don't. Why do we only buy used cars? Why do we always use coupons? Why do we take our kids to a nearby beach for a few days instead of flying to Disney World for our annual vacation? It seems like everyone else can afford so much more - on a similar salary.
The math is the same on the other side of the street. Really. It doesn't change. If you can't afford it, neither can he. And while you may choose to spend your money on different things than your neighbor, the amount you have to spend remains constant.
That's why I try to minimize my spending on every day items. It takes a little time, planning and organization but it allows me to do fun things more often. If I can keep my grocery bill down to $100 a week (for 6 people) then I have more money for other things (like that beach vacation). And - most importantly - I stay out of debt!
So, stop trying to figure out 'how they do it' and start figuring out how you do it!