What is the common expression for having a rich person's taste and poor person's budget?


4 Answers 4


This is often described as having "X" tastes on a "Y" budget, where people fill in their own humorous contrasts between something lavish and something frugal.

Two of the most common are "champagne tastes on a beer budget," and "caviar tastes on a tuna fish budget" (this last one was parodied on the show The Real Husbands of Hollywood, where star Kevin Hart was described as having "caviar tastes" but believing that caviar was spelled with a "K").

  • I wouldn't be surprised if those were two of the most common due to Robin Leach's ending line on Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous: "champagne wishes and caviar dreams"
    – DCShannon
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 22:35

Live beyond one's means : to spend more money than one can afford to spend (MW)

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    – choster
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 16:06
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    I believe this satisfies the concept of spending more than what one "should", but it does not convey the implication that the spending was due to high taste. One could be spending their whole paycheck on Magic: the Gathering cards and certainly be living beyond their means, but their habit would likely not be considered to be one of rich taste.
    – Brian R
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 18:18
  • This answer is right if you also give in to the tastes although you can't afford to. The question did not specify that you actually spend according to the tastes. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 8:06
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    No. You can live beyond your means while overindulging a cheap sense of taste, or you can have expensive taste and live within your means by not indulging it.
    – Karen
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 15:01
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    @BrianR, that seems like a rich taste to me. Maybe it just depends on your tastes ;) Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 20:27

What about "gold collar worker", in the same vein as white- and blue- collar?

Gold-collar worker (GCW) is a neologism which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury...

Wikipedia entry


You could use the metaphor: "Ferrari lifestyle on a Honda paycheck"

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    i think this could be generalized to X lifestyle on Y paycheck, much like the X taste on Y budget above Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 21:47
  • Please explain why one could use this phrase. How does it fit the question? How is having a car indicative of a poor or rich budget? Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 10:54

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