Are you Guys Rich or What!?

I have an old system, nothing special, Adcom, Vandersteens etc and I recently set foot for the first time in a "high end" shop, hoping to get to the next level of audio nirvana. When I saw some of the prices for monoblock amplifiers, cables, the latest speakers etc, I practically fell off my chair when I realized that I could blow $50-100K pretty easily on this stuff. I am not rich. Do you big budget system guys all work on Wall Street or something or do you eat macaroni and cheese most nights to put a few bucks away for CDs and your next upgrade?
I am definetely not RICH.. But I do love Audio.. I'm 21 and I have over 10K in my system. This isn't much in the Audiophile world, but it is musical and makes me tap my toes. My friends buy cars and bass systems on credit and spend their cash wastefully. I make one major purchase every year and live quite nicely the rest of the year. It's all about how you manage your money (having a good job helps too). Make sure you spend as much money on personal development as you do on other stuff like audio. Not trying to be a smart ass, just stuff I learned from some wealthy friends. "If you want to be successful you have to surround yourself with successful people" not too sure who that one is originally from.
Well Buckingham my name is Tim and I would like if you would site me as a reference when using my quote.....J/K. What's up nice to hear from another younger audiophile(I am 20). I agree with planning/personal development(I invest about 5:1 what I spend on anything, including audio), "those who fail to plan, plan to fail" some of my not so well of friends laugh at me, but in the end I will be sitting fat, living the good life(or so my financial advisors tell me :) Here's to years of audio enjoyment, and a life of prosperity!

Having been bitten by the "Bug" right here, on Audiogon, I have to weigh in on this one. After two years of buying, selling, learning etc., I have a system that to my ears,and a good many others, sounds incredibly good. I purchased all of the more important pieces used (cd, int. amp, speakers) and saved better than half what they cost new. They were all only a few months old and all under warranty. I would not have been able to pay for any of it at regular retail, and could sell each item for more than I paid for it. My total investment so far is approx 4k. I'm not rich, and do not have money to burn. Those who do have my undying gratitude. I don't mind picking up their cast-off's, or letting them pay "whatever". They've done me a favor, and I hope the trend continues. I can say, however, that the best thing that I have come across in terms of audio equipment has been totally free: this website and all of you who care enough to contribute your opinions and share your knowledge.
Thank you.
Audiophile does not have to = audio snob I have a wealthy friend that shops at the local "Tiffany" audio salon . He paid almost $60,000.00 for a "Class A " stereo from all the top brands. Yes his system is great but my system for about 25% of that is almost as good. I have put systems together for under two grand that are great musical systems that play at concert sound levels. It is difficult but simple Buy value not hype. It's tough to sort through all the magazine BS but there out there . For example the 70's Luxman receivers and seperates are so great and cheap. they compare to new suff costing 5 times as much . The Luxman 1120 is simply awesome ! Tandberg 2075 , 2080 both include phonos . How about Fisher tube receivers , H.H. Scott 299 int. amps are astonishingly good ! , The AR turntable for under $ 100.00 . I could go on for a long time . If you want a musical system for a song ask a knowledgable audiophile . Also buy the brands that are not as popular. Sonic frontiers makes the best gear , They are not the most popular at times. read learn and ask. When the Mark II comes out buy the mark I etc. REMEMBER ITS ABOUT THE MUSIC !
Dont forget that there is a point of diminishing (spelling error?) return. I have about 15K in my system, and I know that anything I add at this point will not make a huge difference. This hobby is more like a sickness.