I know very few profligate spenders these days. Most are in some degree of debt, but it's over necessities such as medical care, child care and/or a decent roof over their heads. Living within your means is a sensible idea in principle — but the fact is, most people are in debt, sometimes cripplingly so. And humans haven't yet evolved to the point where vomiting and sweating replaces eating and drinking, so they still have to consume something to break even in a sentient sense. Some things you have to do regardless of fortune and financial acumen.
Even with a steady income and the most grounded spending habits, it can be tough to get by these days. Those people don't deserve to be judged as if they're Gordon Gekko on an Al Bundy budget. People my age (the "generation" under question here, I imagine) don't have the 1980s yuppie mentality. Even where we do go nuts over shiny things, we're humble enough to not equate bling with superiority.
I grew up in a rough neighborhood, and I've never been shy about saying so. This always embarrassed Mom and Dad, because they thought I was saying they were bad parents. But to me (and my peers), it was a badge of honor, proof that I wasn't a clueless and soft rich jerk. It was, in fact, a compliment to my parents' resolve — that they lived with what they had. For them that was perhaps less of a virtue, because their generation was about the supremacy of upward mobility.
My grandparents, being Depression survivors, had a quirk — if I started a soda and didn't finish it, they'd finish it off. After all, the Depression. My parents, on the other hand, would just tell me to throw it away. Now, I definitely don't finish out anyone's drinks out of principle, but I do value the virtue of thrift. And I yearn for the stable economic times that allowed my parents, even with their struggles, to not worry about every last sip of Faygo Moon Mist. There's much to learn (both up and down) from our elders of all generations, and I think we're in a unique spot to make the most of it. Because if we've learned one thing in our short lives, it's how to make the most of things.
Electing some of our own to high office would help too.