Is it possible not to get sucked into the finance lifestyle?
Let's say my goal is to put in my years in finance, and (truly) cash out and leave by the time I'm 40, to live a normal, middle class family life with ironclad financial security. This means I'll have to keep my costs low and live like a normal person during this time. This means I marry someone with the same lifestyle expectations that I have. This means we live in a normal house in Jersey. This means my wife and I share a Honda instead of having our own Audis. This means our kids go to public school. This means we might take occasional vacations to the Jersey shore instead of a yearly ski trip in Switzerland. This means eating out is a rare treat.
I see a lot of threads mentioning how MDs in their 50s are shackled to a job they hate because of the cost of their lifestyle, and I'm wondering why they had to end up there in the first place. If I dig the simple life, does it have to hold me back professionally? Would it make me an automatic black sheep in finance? I know that part of success in the workplace is getting along with your peers and fitting in with the "culture". So how much pressure is there to live a certain lifestyle when you and everyone you work with is rich?