Which card should I use today?
What we carry in our wallets may influence how we spend. A body of research suggests it’s easier to spend using credit cards than it is using cash – with the “sting” of paying delayed until the bill arrives when using a card. On Psychology Today, academic Art Markman blogs that people “are better able to control their behavior when they have physical objects”. So cash in the hand, he argues, is easier to control than thinking conceptually about money spent on credit cards.
A wallet full of credit cards might prove tempting.
Similarly, Smart Money writes carrying a messy wallet full of credit cards and old receipts “not only encourages consumers to spend more (and more thoughtlessly); it also makes it harder to keep track of that spending”.
I’m honest, baby
If there’s one item you should have in your wallet to protect in case you lose it, an experiment suggests it should be a photograph of a baby. It might sound strange, but as the Daily Telegraph and others reported researchers who left wallets on the streets in Scotland found ones with a baby photograph inside were more likely to be returned.