Queen of free: Plastic payment poses problems

The major security breach at Target during the holiday season has many consumers puzzling over whether to use plastic at the register. Greater threats lurk over whipping out your credit card than stinky cyber-thieves. While incredibly convenient, plastic payment places you in more danger than you might realize.

Spending more

You spend more when you use plastic, even if it’s a debit card. Studies show that people who spend cash instead of using credit cards can spend as much as 40 percent more on their purchases.

Handing over a George Washington or an Abraham Lincoln to pay for you goods actually activates the pain center in your brain. On the whole, humans look to avoid pain. Hence, you’ll spend less when you use cash than you would if you were charging it up.

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