Four reasons why you should be paying in cash

What’s more unfashionable than paying in cash? Not much. But the advantages in many situations outweigh the hassle of counting your change.

Not for convenience: Some people see using cash as a throwback, says an article at Investopedia.com. Indeed, it says, the convenience of plastic is not what you’re after when you choose to use green-backs. Still, if overspending is your problem, paying cash is one of the few ways to finish a month without having increased your debt load; bit.ly/HofsJw.

Better health: Paying in cash at the grocery compels shoppers to make healthier food choices, according to this episode of Scientific American’s 60 Second Mind podcast series by Christie Nicholson. Researchers found that credit- and debit-card shopping really does foster impulse and junk-food buying. By contrast, shoppers feel a sort of “pain” in forking over cash that limits the impulse-buying; bit.ly/mKkajh.

King of discounts: This post by Michael Estrin at Bankrate.com says there’s money to be saved in paying cash at establishments that offer discounts for doing so. First, there’s a rise in the number of gas stations offering a discount for cash. In addition, take-out restaurants and doctors’ offices often give discounts for cash; sometimes, the savings are substantial. bit.ly/96jSCF.

Cash for clunkers: Cars.com offers this post by Colin Bird to outline the advantages of paying cash for a car. The thought seems impossible for most new-car buyers, but the savings in interest costs on a car loan could be substantial. The advantage is less clear if the dealer is offering zero interest; bit.ly/H3iZ6w.

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