There is HOPE. This step or lesson, is a rallying point - the point where you finally realize through past experiences that keeping up with the Jones'es is just not in your best interest. This is a BIG STEP. In spite of all the financial failures in your life, the foreclosures, the bill collectors calling all hours of the day, having to tell your kids NO all the time, the depression and anxiety because you can't afford real hardwood floors and have to settle for laminate - Is it worth it people? This is the point where you have to define what CHEAP or frugality means to YOU. Oh and by the way, STOP LOOKING DOWN ON OTHERS MISFORTUNE! Not cool.
This is where you finally realize, that living within your means is actually the POWER of CHEAP and not a badge of financial failure. So what, if next door, they can supposedly afford more than you... YOU DON'T KNOW what their financial books look like? They might be in a bigger mess than you.
Stop comparing yourself to others. YOU are YOU. When the light-bulb of sanity finally goes ON in your head, you will have arrived.
"You laugh because you think I am different -
I laugh because you guys are all the same."