How many is too many when it comes to bank accounts? According to new research, having any more than one could cause you to spend more.
The new consumer behavior research, which will be published in the next issue of “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes,” divided people into two groups and asked them to do some shopping online. What they found was that consumers who were making payments from one account spent 10% less than those with multiple accounts.
Researchers blamed the excess spending by those with more accounts on math skills. As the Huffington Post reported, researchers from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah wrote that “people have a hard time keeping their accounting straight when money is stashed in many different places.”
Of course, some people use multiple accounts as a means of separating their money into different categories. If that sounds like your budgeting strategy, the researchers recommended “reducing the vagueness.”
One way to do so would be to aggregate your accounts into a place where you can view them all at once, like with LearnVest’s My Money Center. Linking all of your accounts in one place means that all of your spending will be captured on one screen, making it difficult to ignore how spending across your accounts affects your bottom line.
Tell us: How many accounts do you use? Do you think the number of accounts you have changes your spending habits?