You seem to be confusing the consumer price index with the cost of living. The wealthy never have to borrow money to meet minimum living expenses. The poor often do. And then there's education, housing, and the like - very often debt is the best decision, given the choices faced. It can even be the lowest cost decision. Quite often in price, as noted above. Always in total cost. Rich people have a lower minimum cost of living than poor people - this is just a fact. They have the resources to always get the best deals, have the money up front to buy durability and lower maintenance down the road, and so forth. They can always choose the lowest cost option, for everything.