But away with such cynicism. The best things in life are free. At least they are if you believe a slim volume from a group of agency types led by the former TBWA\London executive creative director Steve Henry that suggests the credit crunch is killing off materialism.
This may seem like a Pauline conversion by Henry and his mates - Dave Alberts, the former Grey London creative boss, Charles Garland, once a Bartle Bogle Hegarty senior manager, and Matt Boffey, ex-Wieden & Kennedy - who have spent most of their professional lives persuading people to buy things.
But in You Are Really Rich, You Just Don't Know It, the quartet reckon they've captured the zeitgeist. Recession is making us all value the simple things of life - walking the dog, going to the flicks, great sex - more than we ever did before, they claim. So far, so unremarkable.
But here's the bit that might make Oscar Wilde, who claimed cynics know the price of everything and the value of nothing, sit up in his grave. Through the research specialist BrainJuicer, the authors asked 1,000 people to rate how happy 50 different events would make them and to put a value on these events expressed in terms of lottery wins.
Diary is doubtful whether this would make a compelling IPA Effectiveness Awards case study. But here are a couple of findings. Being creative increases your "riches" by £57,075. And if you enjoyed a good bonk lately, you're £105,210 better off. Erm ... could we just have the cash, please?