Earlier this week I posted an entry about how to buy nothing. At his wonderful 43 Folders, Merlin Mann has shared his technique for fending off mindless purchases.

I have a [...] “buy me stuff” capture device, but more for the purpose of outgassing my brain’s frequently mindless consumer pollution. My file is called “crap I just don’t need.txt,” and I have fended off many ridiculous purchases just by parking the desired item there. Just viewing the long list of previous entries is an embarrassing exercise in aversion therapy. Not to say this always ensures a non-purchase — consumer lust has a permanent apartment in my heart — but at least it provides a satisfying speed bump on the race to the checkout screen.

We live in a consumer culture. We’re constantly bombarded by advertising, advertising that is cleverly designed to get us to buy the latest Thneed (or Zizzer-Zoof Seeds). It’s easy to become swept away by desire. We’re manipulated into desire by marketing. It’s not something to feel guilty about, but it is something to strive to overcome.

I have a long Amazon wishlist, but I rarely use it. In fact, several times a year I take great delight in purging the list of all of those items I once thought I must have, but which now seem like so much junk.

Do what works for you.