JOPLIN, MO.--- While many shoppers normally choose plastic over cash, you might be surprised how they paid for Christmas presents this year. Researchers say most of those people avoid swiping their card to stay out of debt.
"There are always things that we want, and in the United States we want to have them now," said Marshall Hogue, Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Buying those things with a credit card means you don't have to wait.
"We've been afforded that privilege with credit cards and we buy it now, and we pay for it forever it seems like," said Hogue.
You might be surprised to find the majority of Americans used cash to pay for gifts this time around. Researchers from credit.com asked people why they chose cash over credit cards. For some, it's simply a preference, but 29% of cash users say they want to avoid debt.
"Then you won't have months and months and months worth of payments to be paying off that item that lost value the moment you purchased it," said Hogue.
Financial advisors say that's good news, the best way to shop for Christmas is with money you already have.
"If it's something you'd like to have, then just save for it. That way you feel better about having saved for it, and when you purchase it, you'll feel better about purchasing it," said Hogue.
When it comes to putting things on credit cards, experts say essentials should always come first. The study shows debit cards were the most common form of payment last year, which suggests that this move away from credit has been happening for months. Other survey participants said they chose cash because they either saved ahead of time or have more income this year.
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