I am not sure if this is a new concept or not, but the Cart of Possibility has turned into a method I use when shopping to both help me not feel like I am depriving myself and at the same time not overspend.
How can that be? Well when I see something I like, I put it in the Cart of Possibility. This actually began at Home Goods. This store…omg…one of my favs! The only issue with Home Goods is that whatever is in inventory is typically the only one they have, so if you like it you better grab it!
So I would put it in my cart and tool around the store with it. What I found was that by the time I was ready to leave, I had put back a large portion of what was in my cart. Somehow putting in the cart gave me the “freedom” to shop for whatever I saw that I liked, and as I looked around I was able to really think about if I wanted/needed it.
I’m telling you, it did not matter if it was $20 or $200…if I liked it I put it in the cart. Subconsciously it must be like I bought it. Like it’s mine. Maybe that’s why once it’s in the cart for a little while I can more easily let it go. I guess I have spent time in the store “owning it” if you will, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Or afraid if I don’t buy it I’ll wish I had, but would then come back to find out it’s gone! The Cart of Possibility solved this problem.
This process did mean I spent a little more time in the store than planned, as I would go back through and put back whatever I decided against. I would leave with a sense of true “retail therapy”. Which was good because I had to get a handle on my spending. After my divorce, shopping became my vice.
So the next time you want to go shopping but are concerned you will spend too much, try the Cart of Possibility method. It has killed my shopping remorse and has actually helped me stay on budget.