Personal Finance

On A Diet? Use Cash

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Here’s the latest diet craze: Pay with cash. According to research in the latest Journal of Consumer Research, people who buy their groceries with credit cards buy significantly more junk food than people who pay with cash.

The researchers studied 1,000 households for three months, according to a press release accompanying the story. In both real grocery stores and lab tests, consumers who used credit cards spent more money to buy more items of junk food, where people who used cash spent less money and bought less food that was bad for them.

The researchers found two reasons for this. “First, there is a correlation between unhealthiness and impulsiveness of food items: Unhealthy food items also tend to elicit impulsive responses,” according to the report, as quoted in the release.

“Second, cash payments are psychologically more painful than card payments, and this pain of payment can curb the impulsive responses to buy unhealthy food items.”

Read more on how credit cards ease the “pain of payment.”

Image by Marc Smith, via Flickr.com.

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