The Pain of Paying principle explains the psychological link between payment and pleasure (or lack thereof) for the experience or product you are paying for. The simple fact is that people don’t like to part with their money and so making payment can reduce the pleasure taken from making a purchase. It has been proven that spending money actually activates the areas in our brain that are associated with physical pain and feelings of disgust.

The more evident, tangible or transparent the payment is, the less we are able to enjoy the pleasure of our purchase. We feel this “pain of paying” less when we pay by credit card or when there is a gap between paying and the time of receiving or using the purchase. Inversely, we feel it more when we have to pay for something immediately or by cash as it really draws attention to the amount that something is costing us.

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