We may look at worn-out gadgets, clothes and other items as old and useless, but Trent over at weblog The Simple Dollar points out that if something is worn out, it probably has held greater value than the newer items in your home -- and that's usually a good indicator of whether you should buy something.
It's always sad when something you love becomes worn out, but unlike the things you buy and use for a short period of time, it's a comforting feeling knowing you got your money's worth. In fact, if you're ever on the fence, it's a good way to tell whether something's worth buying:
Every time I actually use an item until I've worn it out, I feel as though I've received incredible value from that item. That item not only saved me a lot of money over the years (or provided so many hours of value for such a little price), but it also became imbued with a lot of memories along the way... I actually wore out an iPod Touch until the battery only held charge for about fifteen minutes and the screen was so scratched up that it was unusable.
I think it's worth it to ask myself whether or not I'm going to completely wear out anything that I buy. I tend to do this really well with some things, such as clothing, but with other things, I tend to not do this as well (board games come to mind, although they take a lot of wear).
Not only that, but Trent recommends going through your current belongings and using this trick to clear out clutter. If you find something you use every once in a while but don't ever see yourself "wearing it out", maybe it's worth selling to someone who will instead.
Wearing Things Out [The Simple Dollar]