Paying in cash may help keep you healthy
It’s no secret that people spend more money when using credit cards compared to cash purchases, or that consumers also spend less when they look at their expenses in detail.
This just in: Shoppers who pay with plastic are also more likely to make impulsive junk food purchases than those using cash, according to a recent study from the Journal of Consumer Research.
In one experiment, participants — who thought they part of a market research study for a large retail chain — were asked to evaluate a series of 20 items, which unknown to them had been independently evaluated as either a “vice” (e.g., cookies, donuts) or a “virtue” (oatmeal, granola bars).
After viewing each item, participants had to decide whether to toss it into their shopping cart or continue on to the next item. The result: Those who’d been told that they could use any of four popular credit cards were more likely to buy the unhealthier products.
Given that many consumers struggle so mightily to make healthy choices, understanding that using plastic increases less healthy purchases may help some people control impulsive behaviour, the authors suggest.
Do you agree? Does plastic encourage unhealthy shopping? Do your buying habits change depending on how you settle up?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.
Posted by: Lisa | Jul 12, 2021 2:25:24 AM
This is SO TRUE!!! I just hate paying in cash for the same reason as listed - I can see it being spent and it feels awful!! I try so hard to pay in cash though, because I want to keep track of how much I spend on what but its such a pain to get cash and then to see it get blown away so fast. Great article!!
Posted by: Moe | Jul 12, 2021 10:13:44 AM
I think many of us want to use our credit cards because of the various reward points. I often use my card when I could easily pay with cash but I don't want to miss out on any 'point gains.' If credit cards didn't offer these perks I think you'd see more people using cash for smaller purchases, expecially for items like junk food.
Posted by: Debbie | Jul 12, 2021 12:02:59 PM
You want lower prices at the stores then throw out the plastic cards..nothing is free especially the 'perks'. And save and pay for your own vacation why should I have to subsidize your vacation through my grocery prices?
Posted by: Silent Eyes | Jul 12, 2021 12:25:52 PM
I don't own any credit cards and I do buy junk food,so tell me what does that mean?
Posted by: Billy | Jul 12, 2021 1:01:36 PM
Silent Eyes , you sir or madame are a scholar, humanitarian, and the healthiest person I know.
Posted by: Actually Read the Source | Jul 12, 2021 1:17:26 PM
Many of these 'virtues' are not healthy foods. I read the article, they are just foods perceived as being healthy. Many dietitians would tell you that not all of these foods are healthy. If people were actually informed what was healthy, that would probably help them more than just using cash.
Posted by: Trixie | Jul 12, 2021 3:43:38 PM
The article that was to be looked up was about "impulse" buys. Some aren't going to like what I say here. It IS true that "impulse" buys are usually done more often by poor people. Chips, candy, gum and pop are good examples. Healthy foods are more expensive and if you don't have money, that means you have to save for a longer period of time to get those healthy foods. The lower income people I know are much more impulsive than the higher income I know.
However, in relation to credit cards, yes a person is more prone to spend, relatively speaking, when they have a credit card. The credit card is not GONE when the transaction is complete. I like knowing what I have, or don't have, so I prefer cash.
Posted by: Another Consumer | Jul 13, 2021 3:37:36 PM
I completely agree, when I use cash, I think about the purchases I WANT to make very carefully, if I feel that there is no absolute NEED for them, I decide not to make them. It can also be heartbreaking seeing less money in your wallet then you had before.
Posted by: Route 66 | Jul 14, 2021 12:38:43 AM
I/we prefer credit card or debit. If I take $500 out of the bank to go food shopping, done in 3 or 4 different stores, and don't have time to finish, when I do go back, a stop at the bank is necessary. When I shop with cc or debit, all I spend is what I buy. I used to take $40 a few times a week for coffee money, since using a cc, I spend about $30 a week. Whenever I take cash, it just seems to dissappear.
Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2021 9:32:30 PM
@Another Consumer, interesting comments. When I use a credit card, which is 100% of the time, I also think about the purchase, and only buy what I NEED! How is paying with cash any different? At the end of the day, you still have spent the same. At least when I use my credit card, I get a receipt that weighs less than a gram, whereas with cash, I have to deal with a crap load of change that wears a hole in my pockets.