“Sorry, we don’t have contactless here”… “Oh my mistake, I thought this was a shop, I must have wondered into a prehistoric cave”.
Suffice to say, we really have a dependence on card payments. They cut down any transaction into a 15 second affair with two lines of dialogue rather than a 30 second interaction with three lines…
And while electronic payments have made online shopping possible (and an absolute dream), they could be costing you serious money. Not through interest rates or poor credit ratings, but how they change our shopping psychology.
If we asked you, right now, to tell us how much money was in your account we predict that only a few of you could actually tell us. Many would know roughly and a few would realise that they’re in some seriously hot water…
What if you told you that shopping with cash could prevent you ending up in that final column. It seems simple, doesn’t it? If you only withdraw money periodically, you can physically count how much you have left rather than have to check online. It goes a little deeper than that though.
“Using cash seems to increase the psychological ‘pain’ or sacrifice of the act and creates more affinity with the produce or brand”, one study revealed. In this experiment, participants were sold identical mugs for $2. Half paid in card, the others, cash. They were then asked to sell their mugs back for the price they thought it was worth. The cash spenders asked for an average of $3 more than the card users…
So how much money will you save a year? It depends on what kind of shopper you are. Think about an item of clothing or something you buy regularly and think about how many times a year you replace that item… probably more than you need to, right?
In short, things we pay for in cash has more worth – both financially and psychologically. Some have suggested that the pain of losing cash comes from having pocket money as a kid. When you’re young, in most families, money doesn’t come regularly – it’s for special occasions like birthdays or when you earn it cleaning your neighbour’s car.
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You had to so sure of what you were spending your money on was the right thing. Imagine a world where kids at limitless debit cards *shudders*.