Much the same way here. After a divorce, job loss, and all sorts of hurt over the course of a few years in my late 30s, I was faced with missing a mortgage payment or selling all my gear. The only thing I didn't sell was the pair of studio monitors nobody wanted at the time. For years that experience kept me from buying anything nice for fear that any brief stint of having extra money would end with the same thing, saying goodbye to whatever I bought.This is not a flip answer. Poverty eliminated GAS for me. My family had no money for this stuff. I was given guitars and eventually an amp as castoffs (crap, which I tried to fix), loaners, gifts, or "pay me later" deals. I never owned more than one at a time until much later. I got my first good (that is, decent) guitar in my last year of college, when my grandmother left me some money (a few hundred bucks). No complaints, no problem -- I always got by. But I sure couldn't fall into an "I want" mindset or I would have been miserable. I've had a reasonably successful life and can afford great stuff now, but my habit, formed long ago, was to be excited about things I can use, or that I need, at least when it comes to guitars, so I never find myself thinking "I'd like a new guitar." Honestly, it just doesn't occur to me. I consider myself lucky in this respect because holy mackeral, there is so, so much incredible guitar stuff out there now that endless with lists would be easy to write.
I buy small things here and there but even that's a stretch. Even earlier this year I was stuck and had to sell the Squier Tele that I'd bought.
I do see things I would like. Sometimes I entertain the idea. But then the realities of what is left after payday soon end those notions.