The OP expressed his desire to save money AND live a simple life.
My contrarian post indicated that I did not want to live a simple life. As to money, it is just a simple method used to exchange goods and services. And what is unique in our modern world is that we can "create" (not print more) money, meaning that the amount of money/weath is not static.
Centuries ago, most people had to work every day of their pitiful lives to exist. When then could not longer work, they died or lived on the charity of their family or community. Because we can accumulate money/wealth, we can continue to live a quality life, without the need to work until the day we die.
If everyone lived a simple life, we would still be hunters and gathers. No airplanes, no cars, no space exploration, no iPods, no computers, no Internet, no silnylon or cuben fiber, no titanium, no BPL, etc.
As to material goods, that is up to the individual. I am in no position or willing to judge people on the material things they purchase. If someone wants or needs something, then they decide its value. For example, a car is just transporation to me. But in my job, I have driven just about every vehicle made. I can appreciate the workmanship and engineering that goes into a Rolls, Bentley, Austin Martin, etc. They are amazing machines. But for me, it is not worth the time (money) it takes to purchase one. However, I can understand why someone who can afford it would buy one.
It is not up to us to judge the merits of a simple life versus any other alternative. I post my opinions only for consideration as an alternative, for what has worked for me. The only caveat I have, is that if one should choose a simple life, and at some point cannot survive due to a lack of money or a job, I do not consider it my responsibility to assist or support them.