Smartphone deals make it easy to overspend

Overspending at the holidays isn’t a new problem, but a modern culprit may now be spurring shoppers to spend more than they planned: their smartphones.

Mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay typically are free, and people can use them to quickly purchase an item in a store or online. Without any speed bumps to checking out, consumers tend to not only spend more, but make more frequent purchases, according to research published last year from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University and Nanjing University.

That can be doubly dangerous during the holidays, when checklists are long and stress levels high. Almost half of Americans say they experience intense personal stress around the holidays, while one in four expect to take on debt to finance their purchases, according to a recent survey from Credit Karma.

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