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In one study, the authors found that participants were willing to spend 5 to throw a Thanksgiving party when using a credit card to buy the food, but only 5 when using cash. Another consumer psychology study analyzed the food buying behavior of a thousand households over 6 months.

The researcher team found that the shopping baskets of those who paid with credit cards had a larger proportion of impulsive and unhealthy food items like ice cream, candies, cookies, and potato chips. This is what the authors had to say: “Our conceptualization is based on the premise that when consumers encounter vice products - such as cookies, cakes and pies – the emotive imagery and associated desire trigger impulsive purchase decisions.

But today, a vast majority of Americans make purchases with credit or debit cards. And more broadly, does it matter how you pay for your purchases?

When compared to paying by cash, people tend to overspend, they buy things impulsively, their shopping baskets tend to fill with unhealthy food, and they are less committed to products they have purchased. About Me Is for people who possess strong financial discipline.If one lacks financial discipline, cannot master a basic budget, or in other ways cannot responsibly handle it, then yes, credit cards might not be a good choice.There are many signs that the world is moving towards a cashless economy.As just one example, a large study spanning 60 countries found that consumers made a total of 417 billion cashless payments in 2014, up from 311 billion transactions just four years earlier (or a third more, in percentage terms).Instead they publicly signaled their commitment towards the item they did purchase.

And finally cash users were more loyal and likely to make a repeat purchase afterwards.When the bill is actually paid (say, once every month), the shopper is not able to attribute the payment to any one particular purchase.Because of these two reasons, people overspend when using credit cards.Most of our understanding about the effects of paying by cash vs.using a credit card comes from recent consumer psychology research studying the links between payment method and shopper behavior.Other people can use a credit card without any of the ill effects outlined in the article. I put all purchases on my credit card (with the exception of eating in a small diner), to include payment to cable TV and cell service, and then immediately pay it off when it clears the pending category or well before the monthly due date.