Keep spending in check with imagination - Metro US

Keep spending in check with imagination

The voice of doom is focusing on the housing industry of late. David Madani of Capital Economics and Gluskin Sheff & Associates chief economist David Rosenberg are predicting a 25 per cent drop in Canadian housing prices over the next three years.

What’s a poor homeowner to do? I know. Get defensive and get rid of that mortgage as quickly as possible.

If it is shopping that’s keeping you from being mortgage-free, there’s now the possibility of a cure, according to five experiments into eating (yes, eating) published in December by Science Magazine.

“People who repeatedly imagined eating a food (such as cheese) many times, subsequently consumed less of the imagined food,” the studies concluded, “They did so because they desired to eat it less, not because they considered it less palatable.”

The findings got me thinking about shopping. What if, instead of plunking down good hard cash for that awesome 56-inch plasma home theatre setup you’ve been lusting after, you set up a daily regime of imagining that you were buying it. Pretty soon you wouldn’t even want it and Best Buy would be out of business in no time.

Instead of mall trolling with friends, we could hunker down for a cozy afternoon together imagining we were buying purses, shoes, makeup, DVDs and so on. I’d guess the shopping dampening effect would be heightened if we could coordinate our imaginings, sort of like chanting in unison.

I can also envision, with a little modification, a role for the latest gaming systems. What about virtual shopping? That ought to cut the desire to shop down to just about zero.

For those who have difficulty imagining buying things, we could train shopping hypnotists. Before we know it “mortgage” would become one of those quaint words of the past, like layaway.

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