My answer? No.
Its a choice. A very sensible choice, if you are trying to pay off debt, build up an emergency fund, and save for the future (retirement, kids' college). Its certainly good advice to do those things. But it does not make you a better person.
I'm naturally pretty frugal. I like efficiency and despise waste, so by extension, I don't want to spend more than I absolutely need to on things and I don't like buying things we don't need. But I also
I think saving money is awesome and leads to security and freedom, both things I value. But you may not value those things, and that's OK. Or we may value them at different levels. The person whose lifelong dream is to retire in her 30s has different priorities than I do. It makes sense for her to save every single penny and forego every possible luxury for a few years. This is a choice. That is very far from my goal, which actually involves working for a couple more decades and trying to enjoy my family and personal life as much as possible at the same time. Sometimes, this involves spending money on unnecessary things.
I am more than OK with that. My whole goal of tracking my spending and making a budget was to know where our money was going and making sure we were spending to our values and priorities. To be "intentional" about it, if you will. But as I delved into personal finance and got sucked into the extreme frugality world, it had an unintended consequence. I started fretting about every last penny, guilty about any inessential purchase, and involuntarily playing (albeit not so well!) a game in which saving more and more and more (and spending less and less and less) is "winning". In this game, pretty much every purchase is considered "losing", and it's pretty demoralizing to feel like a loser day after day. Furthermore, all this led to an even worse and even more unintended consequence of passing judgement on the spending habits of others.
Other people spending money in ways that don't align with my habits is not "stupid". Even being completely financially irresponsible, while it may lead to some increased stress in your life, does not make one a bad person. You can be an amazing person, doing lots of good for the world, and have debt. You can be living an incredibly fulfilling life and spreading your joy to everyone you meet, and not have an emergency fund.
I do think there are some "right" and "wrong" things to do in regards to finance, just like there are "right" and "wrong" ways to approach nutrition or health. But just like I wouldn't judge someone who binges on cookies or chips, I don't want to judge someone who spends on seeming frivolities or accumulates consumer debt. If they choose to change their habits (eating or spending!), I can support them & give advice, but its ultimately their choice.
In my life, right now, my ultimate financial goal is to save a certain percentage but spend the rest in ways that enhance our lives. Our children won't be this age forever---there are experiences we want them to have. Relationships need nurturing NOW, I want to have the date nights and the girls' trip and occasional lunches with friends. I want to feel confident in myself, and I will pay for the amazing haircut again, and the gym membership and more expensive healthy food (OMG, our grocery bill on this low-carb diet!) My time & energy are precious resources, and we outsource what we can afford of our most dreaded tasks.
I'm happy to be frugal in certain areas of life and luxurious in others. I don't like buying stuff that will clutter our house & ultimately end up in a landfill so shopping less, trying to fix things, minimizing food waste---all of that has the dual purpose of saving money & being a good steward of resources. We tackle all the low-hanging fruit---refinance mortgage, shop around for better deals on phone plans & insurance, avoid unnecessary "fees" ...there is no need to throw money away.
I'm OK with being "sort of frugal", I don't need to be "the best".