Shopaholics are resisting the urge to buy now and pay later.
Debit cards have become more popular than credit for the first time this year as many cash-strapped consumers are having second thoughts about ringing up costly charges during a recession.
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MasterCard's debit volume skyrocketed more than 13 percent in the same period while credit-card usage dropped more than two percent, signaling a significant shift in how Americans are spending.
"The reality is that the vast majority of consumers want to pay as they go," the head of Visa's debit-card business Stancey Pinkerd told the Journal.
The costs of maintaining credit -- and the potential to build up debt that can't be paid back -- have caused recession-weary spenders to save up and dole out cash instead of splurging with credit, experts said.
The personal savings rate was up five percent in January, government figures show.