I've used a little trick for years to satisfy my urge to shop while also keeping my spending in check. I go to my favorite online stores, J. Crew, Amazon, Pottery Barn, etc. For clothes, I pick out something, I take a look at colors, I pick out my size, etc. I may shop for an entire outfit. Then I put it into my shopping bag or my shopping cart and then I simply don't check out. My Amazon.com cart has items that I picked out more than 2 or 3 years ago. Sometimes I use this method because I'm following our rules on waiting a day for every $100 an item costs, meaning if I picked out a pair a shoes that exceeded a $100, I am required to wait before I purchase them. But, just as often, I simply enjoy this process, the browsing, the effort of coordinating a skirt with a shirt, finding the perfect dress for an upcoming event or trip and then feel little to no need to complete the sale.
This morning I read an article on The Atlantic that seems to confirm that materialistic folks (perhaps I am one) receive a greater happiness boost from thinking about acquisitions than from the actual acquisition.
What do you think? Do you ever engage in imaginary shopping to satisfy your shopping impulses?