I believe this is a matter of priorities and the changes that people go through in their lives.
For me, when I was much younger, I had a bike until I married and we had our first child. We were both working, but there wasn't enough money for baby food, diapers, and misc expenses that were added to the normal house hold living expenses. It became a budget issue: make the bike payment or buy diapers, etc. The decision was easy for me, because my marriage was a union of values, ideals, and principles. We agreed to start a family and jointly accept the responsibilities and expenses that came along with that decision. The bike had to go and I was ok with that decision.
After the kids were grown and the the expenses have settled down, we agreed that it was time to get another bike, and set a date when it would be acceptable (down payment saved, monthly bills under control, etc) and the shopping would begin. Turns out, neither one of us could wait that long, and I ended up buying a new bike almost a year early. Since that time, I have changed bikes three times, and this last time, she suggested that I buy another bike to replace the one that I had sold a few weeks earlier. Even the kids, now living on their own, couldn't believe that I'd been without a bike for so long. Everyone recognized how much I like to ride and knew it was a priority to me. So, I ride...
Then, I accepted the restriction and would have blamed my wife or my crappy job as not allowing me to afford a bike. It was easier to explain the restriction that way than try to explain my choice as a decision that I'd made with regard to priorities.
But that's just me...
"The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone and I must follow if I can." J.R.R. Tolkien