Many people are mindless spenders, or better said emotional ones. They do not think about why they buy a certain thing and how will that affect them in the long run. Most of the time they buy things to satisfy their needs artificially without really think what causes them, they search for a quick fix. It is easier for someone with low self-esteem to buy clothes or a new car than to spend time and attention on personal development, which involves on the short term more resources physical and emotional but in the long term brings a lot of benefits.
I do think that half of someone’s quality of life is given by his emotional state which is influenced of course by many outside factors but also can be changed through practice from the inside.