At the end of the day most consultants spend as they make...to each his or her own I say.
I have been doing SAP for about 10 years with 5 of those as a contractor. I have focused on APO for the last 6 years and currently pull in around $130 an hour + expenses. I enjoy my money but really my lifestyle has not changed too much in the last 10 years except I travel more. However, this is normally into the 3rd world, months at a time so it is still cheaper than 2 weeks in Europe. I am not married and do not have kids but I have a girlfriend. We have a healthy relationship.
I fly out Monday morning and return at a decent time on Thursday evening. I like SAP and APO and enjoy the challenge. I have manage to squirrel away around $800K and hope to have a cool million at least by the time I get out. This is a lot for the Midwest. I am only 34 years old but I feel this is a good start. I am not the smartest person in the world academically but I am street smart and have learned a lot by watching other people and the mistakes the make.
I find the corporate world tolerable as an independent contractor but have only one found one company that I would consider working for out of the 10 I have implemented SAP. When I get out of consulting I hope to be out of the rat race for good. Most people can't because of the debt and spending patterns.
I feel that was raised differently (compared to today�s kids getting $50 a week allowances � not so bright, mom and dad!!) and thank my parents for teaching me about responsible financial planning and hard work. I only wish more people in this country understood this because living simply really makes a huge difference in the quality of life.
Oh and by the way, I too worked for SAP and enjoyed my time there. This was over 5 years ago and in a different country so is was a great expereience also because of this. I have nothing bad to say about them but perhaps things have changed?