A Rice University study suggests you can stop yourself from making impulse purchases if you think about what you already have. But a critic asks, why stop people from shopping?
"If people don't buy things we don't any economic activity and the economy grinds to a halt; the growth of the economy depends on people buying things so I'm not quite sure why this fellow is interested in stopping peoples' desire to buy."
Hartung says he lives in Las Vegas, where very little of what's purchased is necessary.
"What I've observed over time that I've lived here is how happy they are often when they buy things that they don't actually need; certainly no one needs to gamble."
Hartung says thinking about what you have could be a good way to curb spending, but he says buying what you want can also bring contentment.
"It's a technique that seems like its viable and I understand why people would think about things twice before they wanna spend the money; on the other hand, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada where 90% of what people spend money on, they don't need."
The study says "consumers who reflected on their recently used personal belongings experienced less desire for an unexpectedly encountered product, were less likely to buy impulsively and expressed a lower willingness-to-pay for new products."