I can't believe that I too, worked longer hours to drive a nicer car, to get back and forth to work.... I think I've found a happy medium. To me, the most important step, was DEBT-FREE.
What got me was the slow steady growth of the "habit". 15 years into a career making 3-4x what I was when I started out but still locked into needing that weekly paycheck to pay for: more living space I wasn't using, the shiny new motorcycle I was making payments on and riding twice a month, payments on the new car, the 3 kayaks(why I needed 3 I don't remember, but I had 3), 60 inch TV, new PC every 2 years to play video games I got bored of after 2 hours, etc.
After living aboard a year and a half I got debt free last week. The next few months have me still in a "buy toy mode", but it's gear for the boat itself which I consider more of an investment.
I've definitely found that happy medium.