This is the case so often. You could afford something but you say you can't because you can't justify the cost.I always use to say I can't afford whatever until a friend of mine asked why I always say I can't afford something when he knew I could, it got me thinking and in reality I could afford whatever we were talking about but the fact was I couldn't justify it.
It's all about value judgments.
We give value judgments to loads of things, including money. Folk with more money generally value money lower than folk with less. But then you get the individual variance in judgment depending on preference. I was thinking about this recently since becoming more active on this site. I could afford a Woodlore knife, but right now there is no way I could justify spending that amount of money on one. But I'd be happy to spend a far larger sum of money on items for other 'hobbies' I participate in. But some folk would rather have a Woodlore (or 2!) than things I would buy. Vive le difference. But these things also develop over time, and maybe in a wee while I will be prepared to spend that kind of cash on a knife.
So it's about value judgments, and everyone has different things they value, even debt. Obviously there are limits to your freedom of choice which will be set by your prudence, earning capacity, credit record etc, but within those limits it's up to you. What do you value?