Paying With Credit or Debit Can Lead Chicago Consumers to Make Impulse Buys

As if you need another excuse not to use debit and credit cards, now it looks as if paying with plastic can sabotage your health.

According to the Journal of Consumer Research, people are more likely to splurge on unhealthy, impulse buys - think potato chips, candy and super-sweet coffee drinks - when we pay with a card. That's the bad news. The good news is that you have the power to clean up your debt and your diet by changing your mindset, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

It probably comes as no surprise that credit cards can lead to on-whim purchases. Paying with credit can make you feel as if - momentarily - you're getting something for nothing. Without the need to have enough cash on hand - or even in the ATM - what's to stop you?

Cash, on the other hand, comes with what the study refers to as "pain of payment"- in other words, the uncomfortable feeling consumers experience when parting with actual money. Because this so-called pain makes you more aware of whether you really need what's in your shopping cart, it can act as deterrent when it comes to vices, be they cigarettes, alcohol or junk food - or anything, really.

But that doesn't mean you're forever doomed to a cash-ony policy if you want to control your finances (though it might not hurt to give it a try if you're a notorious impulse buyer). It's possible to train your brain to think of credit as cash. For instance, get in the habit of looking at the number on the checkout screen instead of blindly swiping your card. Consider updating your checkbook and keeping it with you, so you can take a peek at how much is in your account before you pay. If you don't have enough to pay for your purchase now, how do you know you'll have enough when your credit card bill arrives? Remember, plastic doesn't mean a free ride. In fact, it's just the opposite. Not only will that money get sucked out of the bank soon enough, but you'll have to pay interest on it, too.

Habits like keeping a budget and sticking to your shopping list can help. But in some cases, getting a handle on the debt you've already accumulated might require more than a little financial organization. If credit and debit has already left your accounts dry, bankruptcy might be just the refreshment you need. Find out if bankruptcy can make lowering your debt possible when you try a free one-on-one debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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