Using Credit And Debit Encourages Atlanta Consumers to Make Unnecessary Purchases

If it seems like you always wind up with one too many bags of Halloween candy in your house, your credit card habit might be to blame.

It turns out that paying with plastic can encourage consumers to buy unhealthy food, according to a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research. Fortunately, shoppers can avoid eating too much junk - or accumulating too much debt - by modifying the way they use credit and debit cards, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

It's no secret that paying with credit leads to impulse buys. Whereas paying cash requires that you actually have enough money in your wallet, a plastic card means you can buy now and pay later, regardless of whether you have a dime in your bank account. As the study says, there's none of the payment pain that normally comes with cash - since you don't see any money actually leave your pocket, you never stop to think twice about whether you really need that bag of chips you just tossed in your cart on whim.

Of course, the simplest solution would be to switch from cards to cash. But for those of us who don't want to quit credit cold turkey, there might be another way. Credit isn't inherently bad; it's our behavior that's the problem. By altering our behavior, we can alter our finances. You need to figure out a way to trick your brain into realizing that credit eventually becomes cash, since you will have to part with the money to pay for the item - plus interest - when your bill arrives. Maybe that means figuring out a spending limit and a shopping list before you head to the store - you won't be able to buy something not on the list because it will put you over budget. Maybe it means toting your checkbook everywhere so you can check your balance before you pay. It might take some trial and error, but eventually you can find a way that works for you.

That said, sometimes obstacles can get in the way - namely, having a lot of debt to begin with. Debt can eat into your paycheck so you feel you have no other choice but to rely on credit. But you do have a choice, thanks to bankruptcy. If you're drowning in credit card debt and other bills, bankruptcy might be able to offer a lifeline by making paying down debt affordable. Find out if there's a bankruptcy plan right for you when you sign up for a free one-on-one debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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