It’s likely you’ve come home on a Friday night, had food delivered to your door and streamed a film or TV show – all without opening your wallet. It’s also possible you didn’t feel you paid for any of it.

These days, we have subscription services, automatic top-ups and cards connected to apps for our convenience. But with convenience can come another cost – mindless spending that adds up.

Why it's so easy to 'tap and go'

The physical act of handing over money for a payment can make you more aware of what you’re spending because seeing notes or coins leave your wallet lights up the same part of your brain that is alerted when you crave food or laugh at jokes.

But when you don’t see a transaction take place, that part of the brain – the insular – is dulled. And when you don’t see transactions take place, you’re likely to spend more money and regret impulse purchases. You’re also less likely to remember what you spent your money on days and weeks later.

But it can be hard to use cash

As cashless payments become our go-to mode, it’s possible we don’t connect with transactions in the same way we use to, which could lead us to spending more on items we may not need.

This is why we created transaction notifications to alert you when you have spent money and been paid. These messages draw your attention to when you spend so you can spend carefully.

But these alerts aren’t the only way to make sure contactless payments don’t cost you, you can set up limits on your credit card so you don’t overspend. It’s worth considering how you can make your spending more visible, so cashless payments don’t cost you too much.

Here are a few other suggestions.

  1. Check your balance regularly
  2. Turn on transaction notifications in your banking app
  3. Use cash where it’s appropriate or ask for receipts
  4. Lower the limit on your card or phone’s Tap and Pay

 

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Some terms and conditions apply to our financial wellbeing features – please see commbank.com.au for details.