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How Cash Over Credit Affects Your Health


  In today’s weak economic climate, more and more people are paying with plastic instead of cash . . . often feeling they have no choice.  For some, it’s the only way to put food on the table or clothe their children.  Obviously, it’s a shortsighted solution that rarely has a happy ending.  As many can testify, this kind of spending can lead to financial disaster that takes a toll on one’s mental and emotional health.  But did you know your spending habits could affect your physical health as well? 


Paying with cash could mean a healthier body.

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that paying with cold hard cash instead of credit cards at the grocery store not only leads to more conservative spending but healthier food selections, as well.

Researchers tracked the grocery shopping habits of 1,000 households over a period of six months.  They found that those who used debit or credit cards were much more inclined to make impulsive choices. These impulse items tended to be junk food such as cakes, cookies, chips and other unhealthy staples.  However, paying with cash can quickly scratch these items off the list.  That’s because handing over actual cash money not only takes away from the joy of spending, but it makes you think twice about what you’re getting for your buck.  When faced with a choice between a few apples and a box of snack cakes, most smart consumers will choose the apples. 

Unfortunately, nutrition isn’t the only thing that suffers with impulse spending.  Living in arrears from too much credit card debt takes a huge toll on the entire body. 

Health problems caused by consumer debt.


One of the biggest problems is insomnia.  Fitful dreams of debt collectors, repossessions, foreclosures, and pending lawsuits means sleepless nights for many.  Even if sleep is possible, worried consumers wake up wracked with nightmares. In addition, functioning on too little sleep spells a variety of health problems including premature aging and even early death.

Stomach and digestive problems can also occur when dealing with too much debt.  Whether it’s a “sour stomach” needing a daily dose of antacids or full-blown ulcers, the digestive system suffers.

Weight loss or weight gain can be the result of living in debt.  Self-soothing with food is a common problem of those plagued by financial worries.  This, of course, leads to unwanted pounds, which in turn can lead to heart problems, type-2 diabetes, and more.  On the other hand, anxiety causes others to lose their appetite to such a degree they become frail and weak.

Skin problems can erupt from all of the extreme stress caused by being up to you eyeballs in debt.  Cold sores and acne flare-ups are often the result of such pressure.

Throbbing headaches and migraines from trying to think your way out of financial chaos is a common complaint.  The stress and tension is simply too much for the head to bear.

And finally, substance abuse is the downfall of many struggling with extreme debt.  Obviously, financial difficulties don’t cause addiction.  But anyone inclined to seek comfort in alcohol and drugs may find themselves walking that path if they can’t get their finances under control.

Ultimately, credit card debt can spell disaster.  That’s why it’s so important to avoid it in the first place.  But if you find yourself struggling, keep in mind there are solutions available.  Seek them out.  Then resolve to choose cash over credit except in extreme cases. Your physical, mental, and emotional health will thank you for it.

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