When making technological purchases, I find it useful to remember how quickly such items becomes obsolete.
Modern smartphones will be worse than useless one day, just like black & white televisions or VHS tapes.
In fact, modern technological gadgets are like cars, except way worse. They take a huge depreciation immediately after you buy them, and rapidly depreciate year after year. They are usually worth next to nothing as scrap.
That's why I like to spend as little as necessary to get the job done, and value utility over form.
It helps that there is a plethora of quality free software nowadays. I find LibreOffice to be a capable alternative to Microsoft Office, for instance. I run Linux on some devices around my house, and I find it good for extending the life and performance of my hardware. Linux is also virtually guaranteed to be supported (free) for a long time hence.
A little nuance is sometimes required. Some things, like routers, can be expected to be useful for a relatively long time compared to, say, a smartphone.
Overall, however, I find the following test useful:
- How useful will this item be in my immediate future?
- Am I OK with this money being gone forever?
- What am I giving up by making this purchase?
Since I started asking myself these questions before making a purchase I rarely have buyer's regret.