Money did not matter much.
Don't really know what to quite make of this; are you serious or being sarcastic? While it is true that a few of the high ranking officials do take the advantage of their position to get things for free from the state no matter what system they happen to work for, even if it's capitalist system where their position allows them to live on a taxpayer dime. For the rest of us cash is king, hard work, credit and layaway programs a necessary burden to put up with in order to achieve certain standard of living even during the time of communism. Nothing is free in life, no matter what system you happen to live under, do you honestly think that state give you housing, cars, TV's, appliances for free?
You make it sound surreal and utopian like as if it was seen from the perspective of the privileged elites who believed in the system and were lucky enough to be given all of those things, as if. I'm afraid that the reality was quite different and the money itself meant a great deal back then, without it one would simply stagnate and never be able to batter themselves. For instance even in the 70's (the so called boom) without resorting to bribery and black market for all sorts of consumer goods were only cash is acceptable form of payment, one would never be able to improve his standard of living, build a house, etc. Cash was king, the building materials in short supply, so whatever you bought from private enterprise like bricks, lumber, cinder blocks etc., (I know hard to believe but they did exist) you supplemented the rest through bribes and through the contacts you had at state run supplier where you bought stuff from under the counter so to speak and paid cash, not to mention the bribes you had to pay to bypass government bureaucracy to get the building permit, water, electric gas telephone line on your property. In cities some flats were also bought by people. Often the building project took well over 5 years and one had to borrow heavily to do this, not from the state run banking system mind you but family, friends, neighbors.
The cars, TV's, appliances were not free either, those were out of reach for most people on the salary they had and they bought those items on installments or layaway programs. Cars, if you were lucky enough to work abroad or had family members residing there were often bought for cash in hard currency to be picked up at home skipping the waiting list all together, hard currency costumers had that privilege for a simple reason, hard currency was in short supply and was needed by the state to pay off the interest on the loans Gierek made to achieve this short lived prosperity but it's the easement of restrictions, human inventive nature as well as black market and great deal of corruption in the government circles that allowed for all this prosperity to flourish for a short while. Stores like Pewex flourished paddling their goods for hard currency were dollar was the king. People often crossed the border to buy items not available on domestic market where they were much cheaper too, either for themselves or resale on the black market to pay off the debts they incurred building their house. You did everything you could think of to pay those debts off.
One does wonder indeed how such system could collapse; life is hard enough as it is without government interference in their daily life, imposed restriction and freedom of movement don't help either. Reality of life differed greatly from the utopian picture of life under communism some of you paint here.