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A Strange Trick You Can Use to Spend Less Money

Money stacks
Don Farrall/Getty Images

I’ve never been a big fan of giving money as a gift at Christmas, gift cards sure, not cash.  But if you’re trying to impress upon your kids the value of making their money go as far as possible, this little trick might help you out when you slip a 20 spot in their stocking.

Researchers at the University of Winnipeg say you’ll spend less money if you pay with crisp, well-organized cash.  They gave college students $20 and told them they could spend as much as they wanted in a mock-store. Here’s what they found:

Half of the students were given new bills, and half were given old, crinkled bills. The students then rated how clean each bill appeared.


Students carrying the crisp 20-dollar bill spent about 4-dollars on average, and those with the dirty, crinkled bills spent about 8-dollars on average.

I know for me it’s not as much about the condition of the bill as much as ‘breaking’ the bill.  As long as I can keep that 20 in tact I’m good, but the minute it becomes a collection of smaller bills and coins – it’s gone!

Here’s an idea: you’ve got 19 days until Christmas.  Try it on yourself first and let me know if it works.

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