A stack of different colored credit cards.


Research Illuminates Credit Card Habit

It’s 2012, so kiss the money spent last month goodbye. But if any skeptics out there still need confirmation, here it is:

Academic research shows that compulsive purchases are more likely with credit cards, which put distance, in space and time, between the act of buying the item and paying for it.

“The pain of paying is somewhat dulled” by using plastic, Priya Raghubir at New York University and Joydeep Srivastava at the University of Maryland, show in their research paper titled, “Monopoly Money: The Effect of Payment Coupling and Form on Spending Behavior.”

If reducing your use of credit cards – even converting to a cash budget – is a New Year’s resolution, click at the bottom of this post to see a list of six previous articles on Squared Away about credit card behavior and psychology. They might help readers better understand a bad habit many of us share.

Buying with cards:

Spenders Yield to “What the Hell” Effect
How People Think about Credit Cards:

Paying with cards:

Cards Cause Puzzling Behavior
Mistakes People Make

Card confessions from college students: Video:


Tips and motivation to control spending:



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