Hey, Libby! I'm not going to spit at you!
I have posted before about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
You cannot move to the next level until you have fulfilled the previous level.
The levels are:
1.Physiological needs — they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function. Air, water, and food, clothing, shelter, sex.
2. Safety needs: Personal security, financial security, Health and well-being, safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts
3. Love and belonging: Friendship, intimacy, family
4. Esteem - Lower and higher. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The higher one is the need for self-respect, the need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence and freedom. The latter one ranks higher because it rests more on inner competence won through experience.
5. Self-actualization "“What a man can be, he must be.”
Now, for your question...living within one's means....
If someone is in Physiological needs, they aren't worry about cable tv! They're looking for food, shelter, basic clothing, etc.
As Level 2 is approached and an income is obtained, stability of life established, people have to figure out what is and what is not important to delegate resources toward: light bill-yes!.....coach purse-no! This is the time when people need insurance. Health insurance, car insurance, etc. Because it will not take "much" to be bumped back to looking for food, as in Level One!
To briefly answer your question, no, I don't think Cable TV is a thing that everyone "deserves" to have. It's nice to have, I enjoy having it, but it is a luxury that must be paid for. So, I guess if someone has the resources for the service of cable tv, and it's not jeopardizing their food, shelter, security or safety of their family, then I guess they can "afford it" and should get it if they want it.
What "living within MY means" at this stage of my life means is that we pay all of our bills on time or early (usually), we use money we have to purchase things we need or want. We don't use money we don't have yet for that (a.k.a. credit) . We can also invest and save some money. Would I sign up for a $100/month service today for something if it meant I could not then save ANY money per month? No. I consider saving something to be a part of living within my means at this particular phase in my life!
Oh--the keeping up with the Jones' people? They're stuck in the lower phase of Level 4.
More self-actualized people tend to consider "giving" almost like a bill-something they "do" because it is who they are!
Moving through the pyramid is done by everyone on some level. Some are doing on 10K per year, some are doing it on 300K per year, but there is always trending to the next level. That might mean "giving" an apple to the homeless guy on the corner or donating a wing of a hospital.
My point is that the pyramid does not imply wealth as you proceed level to level.
And there are plenty of people living paycheck to paycheck that ARE living within their means. They have already cut every possible bit of "fat" from that budget!