The temptations to spend in our capitalist society are enormous. More is better, right? If we only had that shiny widget, then we would be happy!
The reality is that happiness from spending is short-lived, and the misery and stress from overspending is a heavy price to pay. Part of the economic woes that we are currently experiencing are due to millions of people spending money that they didn’t have.
In a recent study, business researchers from New York University and University of Maryland found that participants given cash to shop spent less than those who were given credit cards. Spending cash makes it easy to see how much you are spending and this can be a deterrent to overspending. As we’ve all experienced, running your credit through a terminal makes it almost feel like, POOF! These items are now mine and I didn’t even spend money! If you’ve ever been to a place like Gattitown, Chuck E. Cheese, or Dave & Buster’s, you know that they use tokens and power cards to make it easier for people to part with their money. It just doesn’t feel as much like we are spending money when we are using plastic to purchase items.
So, what’s the moral of the story? If you use cash to pay for things at the store, you are likely to spend less money. And if you are worried about not getting your air miles, you will probably save enough money by using cash to more than make up for this loss.