Here’s a quick tip to help you hold onto more of your hard-earned cash: The next time you go to the bank, ask the teller for crisp, new bills. Why? Because according to the Journal of Consumer Research, we tend to spend old, worn-out money faster than we do new currency.
Researchers asked volunteers to go shopping. Half of them got crisp, new bills, and half got well-worn, crumpled ones. The result? The volunteers with the worn-out money spent more and were willing to pay more for the same products.
They also spent the crummiest money first – even if that meant breaking a big bill for a $5 purchase. And that can be especially costly, because plenty of studies show that we spend more when we carry small bills instead of large ones.
So, why does the condition of money matter? Researchers mentioned two reasons:
First, we believe that old bills are contaminated by germs and other people’s dirt. So, we want to get rid of them as fast as possible.
And second, clean, new bills give us a sense of pride. So, it hurts to part with them.