Kicking the credit card habit isnít easy. Here are 2 surprising reasons why:
- First: Credit boosts our self-esteem. According to a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, buying things makes us feel better about ourselves. In fact, for a lot of people, spending is a way to boost a lack of self-esteem. But when we pay with a credit card, we can easily ignore the cost, and spend more than we would if we were paying with cash, because it just doesnít feel as real. Thatís why people are more likely to buy indulgent items with a credit card, everything from luxury items to fast food. The fix here is simple: Instead of reaching for your wallet when youíre feeling down, make a list of whatís good in your life. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that was one of the most effective ways to recover from something that damages your ego, like criticism or being snubbed.
- The 2nd reason itís hard to quit buying with credit: We think expensive products will improve our lives. Marsha Richins is a marketing professor at the University of Missouri. And when she analyzed why people purchased smartphones and laptops, she found that the majority believed the gadgets would suddenly make them more organized and productive. Of course, in most cases that didnít happen. So, to avoid fantasy purchases, our expert suggests talking to someone you trust before you open your wallet. Their realistic perspective could prevent you from buying something you donít really need, and save you from spending money you donít really have.