How do you make this choice? It depends on the situation and your eventual goal. What makes the difference is how you make the decision. Is it with your heart or with your head? For example, do you feel like buying those shoes or that video game? Or do you need to buy those shoes or that video game? Which are you using first? Your heart or your head?
I have been reading a book written by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Kenneth Hanson called "Secrets of the Lost Bible". I am only on page 12 because it has already stirred me to thinking about how I make decisions and what I can teach my son about making wiser choices.
I will be brief: The letter "M" in Hebrew is "moach" meaning "mind". The letter "L" is "lev" meaning "heart". The word "melech" means king and the word "lemech" means fool. In other words, when you put the letter "M" before the letter "L" you are being wise. But if you put the letter "L" before "M" you are doing something foolish. You can practice this the next time you are thinking about pulling out a credit card. I still think it is okay to sometimes put your heart before your head and buy something because you want to. But you must weigh this against your values and goals. Also, consider if there someone else depending upon you to make the right decision. If you are having trouble deciding please ask a trusted friend or family member for help. And always remember to keep your receipt in case you change your mind or it's broken -- the item, not your head.