Cash Makes You Feel Good — No, Really!

14 Apr Cash Makes You Feel Good — No, Really!

Bankruptcy lawyers always tell people to use cash whenever possible. We tell you that to help you save money — and to make it harder to overspend. Cash feels precious to us while credit cards or even debit cards do not.

It turns out that cash also makes you feel good. Yes, I know, this is not news.

It really is though. Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota has discovered that physically handling — counting money — can make you feel less pain. The study is described here. The study compared how much pain test subjects felt when touching hot water after, for example, counting cash versus counting blank slips of paper. The results indicated that your brain feels less pain after handling money.

Conversely, thinking about the money you do not have (or presumably that you owe to others) can make pain feel more intense.

In other words, building up your nest egg and using cash can make you feel better.

I know, shocking news, Mr. Obvious. But it’s important to realize that your financial situation is not a separate part of your life. It is part of your life. It affects your mood, your sense of worth, your resistance to shocks and pain.

So working with cash, living on cash, and saving it up so you can play Scrooge and count it out for yourself may actually be a healthy exercise.

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I have been a bankruptcy attorney since 1989. Our firm represents consumers filing bankruptcy almost exclusively, although I have represented bankruptcy trustees as well as creditors. For 2017-2018 I am also serving on the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. If you live in Eastern Missouri, visit our website, send an e-mail or give us a call (314) 781-3400. Our website:
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