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financial-tech-categoryTechnology is a tremendous asset to our lives and has worked its way into every aspect of society. Searching the web for immediate answers, news sent directly to our phones, even banking is now done online and with our mobile devices. While the innovation of technology has increased the convenience in our lives, it also has some negative drawbacks when it comes to finances. The ability to swipe a credit card significantly increases our willingness to buy things, especially on a whim. The classic excuse of “I don’t have any cash on me” is getting more and more challenging to use, since that can usually be refuted with the accessibility of your credit card.

More and more locations are implementing the ability to accept credit cards, and are encouraging it. Stores that have the ability to swipe your card without even being at a register encourages the use of cards over cash. This, in turn, encourages more impulse buying. When you find a product you like and someone is right there to ring you up so you can be on your way, you are much less likely to think about your purchase and make an informed decision. Convenience wins once again.

This isn’t to say that technology is a negative component to finances always. The ability to do banking online has an unparalleled convenience that many people take advantage of. This allows individuals to cash checks and check their balances at the click of a button. This convenience is incredibly useful, but advances in technology continue to take a toll on our spending habits. As consumers, we need to make sure we are aware how powerful technology really is and the impacts it has on our daily lives.

About the Author: Mary is a guest contributor from the MSU Department of Finance, working to prepare students to be future leaders in business and finance.

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