Only ever been private sector... but there's certainly no profligacy at chez SmoothWall - well, except mugs with our names on, and decent coffee to go in them :)
My wife has switched from private to public - she's better paid now (was in Hospitality, which is dreadfully paid IME) and has much more holiday.
I think we're very cost driven in private sector - maybe in the boomtimes some folk will spend like crazy on business class flying etc. but I have never seen it where I have worked. I think people are more likely to spend big in larger companies - where there's less personal responsibility.