The 'Shoppers Disconnect'

| 06 Feb 2018

The 'Shoppers Disconnect'

'Buyers Remorse' is believed to be most prevalent when a purchase requires considerable time, expense and effort and when the reality of the purchase turns out to be less beneficial than imagined.

An obvious example is the purchase of a new car. Considerable time, expense and effort is required to choose, source and finance the car. If the car does not meet expectations or the consequences of the financial obligations have not been thought through, the buyer will most likely experience 'buyers remorse'.

Nobody likes this feeling so if any part of the purchasing process can be simplified, a buyer will automatically choose that option. Financing is an example of this and it is probably the main reason why most car dealerships now offer in-house finance options, essentially becoming a one stop shop for their customers.

The 'Shoppers Disconnect' is what usually happens before 'Buyers Remorse' kicks in and it is something most of us had personal experience with, whether we realise it or not.

When we pay for goods and services with cash we feel the pain of the purchase, so to speak. The positive side of this is that the purchase and its consequences become more tangible and stay front of mind and as a result we make better decisions. 

Shopping with plastic is a lot less painful than handling over cold hard cash. A quick swipe means that the pain of the actual purchase is diminished and the reward part of the process is amplified. Try pay for everything with cash for a month and see if you start appreciating the cost of things more.

shoppers disconnect mind the gap

In Ireland in August 2017, 7% of all Irish credit card holders had exceeded their credit limit, while 36% had balances of between 75 and 100 per cent of their credit limits.

central bank of ireland outstanding credit card debt

The 'cash you can't see' is costing us a fortune.

During 2017, 13% of all calls received by the Irish Money Advice & Budgeting Service related solely to credit card debt.

Credit card interest rates in Ireland range from 13.8% to 35% APR. That is not free money by any measure.

Those that benefit directly from a decline in cash transactions would have you believe that nobody carries cash anymore. While it may be true that we carry less cash than before, we should definitely be careful about blindly following the trends.

No cash means we are 100% dependent on electronic payments and the systems and companies that provide, support and control them. No cash means no choice and no cash means there is no psychological connect with the cost of living.  

If you are struggling with credit card debt, there are services that can help.

In Ireland you can contact the Money Advice & Budgeting Service on 0761 07 2000. More information can be found at

By Danielle Fitzsimons


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