If you need another reason why it’s a bad idea to use credit cards, here you go: Credit cards can make you fat.
Yes, according to a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research, frequent users of plastic not only spent more money at grocery stores, but they also bought a lot more junk food than customers who used cash.
Researchers used several experiments that all came to the same conclusion: If you use credit cards, you’re much more likely to impulse purchase and eat fatty and unhealthy foods. As a result, your pocketbook and waistline will bear the brunt of those decisions.
For years, studies have shown that people spend more money when they use plastic. Using cash actually registers as pain in your brain. But, when all you’ve got to do is swipe a card, paying for something you don’t need is much easier. You hardly even think about the money. That’s scary.
When it comes to grocery shopping, that simply means that if you pay with cash, then you’re much more likely to stick to your shopping list. You make a plan—the grocery list—before you even leave the house. Then, you follow it!
Here’s the cool thing about cash—once you use cash, it’s gone! That means you can’t overspend, which means you can’t put toxic stuff like junk food on a credit card.
All of this comes down to discipline. When you take control over one area of your life, other areas will follow in line. For example, it’s not uncommon for Dave to hear from someone who paid off thousands of dollars—and, while they were dumping debt, got in shape and lost 50 pounds.
Discipline is the connection between financial health and physical fitness. In your everyday life, discipline has a lot to do with making those small decisions that add up. If there’s one particular aisle in the grocery store that you should avoid, then stay away from that aisle!
Then, you won’t put yourself in a position to buy crappy food with money you don’t have. Make every dollar you spend on groceries count. Use the envelope system. Budget appropriately. Spend less than you make.
These are all common-sense things that will keep you disciplined and on track with your money—and your health. Your waistline will thank you.
Get started right now using cash with one of Dave Ramsey's envelope systems.
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