I can't remember doing anything for "sensible" reasons and I've either been extremely lucky or subconsciously weighed up the options based on experiences I didn't know I'd had and in (sort of) consequence come out not only unscathed but better off all round.
There is an element of risk in everything nowadays, most of it imponderable. Unless you're already living on benefits then in the knowledge that whatever you embark on will be for a finite time, knocking out the "little luxuries" soon shows them to have been precisely that and that life goes on without them. The deciding factor there is whether your family accept that argument! I've always been lucky with mine.
It's easier if you've ever been through redundancy at a certain time in your life because in those circumstances you've been denied the luxury of choice. I've been through it twice, after the second time I took it as a message that someone was trying to tell me to do what I'd been rabbitting on about for years - do a degree. So, at age 48, I battled my way through three years of trying to get a bunch of 18 year-olds to actually read a book and do some work towards that piece of paper. Part-time market research field-work to supplement the grant (remember those?) led to three years of post-degree freelance work for a variety of national and local government agencies, then woodworking (for friends initially) took off and by happy accident I found myself working full-time (often with more work than I could handle) on taking an interest in historic buildings further by working to repair and restore them.
With the exception of the degree, it's still possible to do all that if you keep your eyes, ears and (essentially) your mind open to what's around you and go with the flow. It's possible to over-think things and that's when opportunities are missed. You'll probably never be rich, but you'll have a bloody good life and die with a smile on your face because you were so busy getting on with life that you didn't see death coming.
This is very much how I've lived my life, not too much thought and just gone with the flow. When I started tiling, I just wanted to create nice things the business and subsequent earnings just 'happened'.
I've also (like yourself) been known to inform customers that they are idiots (some actually respect it) and that if they want something done that I don't agree with or know to be wrong they can get someone else to do it. I did once stand in front of a customer and actually bang my head against the wall! Never seen him again, but I did carry on as a subcontractor for the company.