I got everything that I ever wanted when I was a kid because I was blessed with a rich father. I attended private schools, had a chauffeur, traveled the world, and went to expensive restaurants. Then I fucked up. I decided to not go into the family business and become an academic to advance society’s knowledge. I graduated university with two doctorates (which my father paid for) and got a job as a simple clinical researcher.

Now, at the age of 27, barely coming into the socioeconomic middle-class, I stand in Family Dollar wondering if I should splurge on the brand name items. I see my siblings buy house after house while I rent a room near my work. They tell me they bought their spouse a Mercedes for Christmas while I struggle to pay the insurance of my old Toyota.

I’ve always loved to dine on luxurious foods. Now, if I can’t go to expensive restaurants, I’ll cook the lavish dishes at home – on a budget.