His situation would only appeal to a person who had a philosophical conviction to live under spartan conditions, however.
"Because he was single, and in no one's debt," (to paraphrase a quotation characterizing Ichabod Crane in Washington Irving's famous short story), our professor could live a solitary existence free from the reaches of bill collectors and Internal Revenue auditors. Such a life has its attractions, as anyone who has ever been deeply in debt can tell you. It is a time-worn cliche that "money isn't everything," but try telling that to a person who is in danger of losing everything to bankruptcy or a vindictive ex-spouse. The professor can sleep peacefully at night, knowing that tomorrow has been paid for already.
Vince Lombardi's famous saying, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," comes to mind. Substituting money into the above equation provides an opposite message to that which is true. If money were everything, our professor would not be able to exist in the state of peaceful contentment in which he surrounds himself. The messages of advertisers to the contrary, a person can be happier with less and less, provided that there are no external pressures at hand. It is certainly true that the more one has, the more one has to work to pay for it. Tuning out the messages of the advertisers is a good first start toward frugality. Advertisers could not influence the professor, because he did not have the money to purchase their products anyway. He shopped at thrift stores with advertising budgets of zero.
Suppose, for the sake of argument, that personal happiness could increase in direct proportion to the amount of money a person has. Our hypothetical believer in the above premise is an advertising executive who drinks bottled French mineral water only to find out that it has come from the water faucet of life. Our misguided execut