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Don’t talk, text and shop

By Naomi Mannino · Bankrate.com
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

Have you ever seen those people at the grocery store talking on their cellphones the entire time they are shopping and even during checkout? They are not only rude but also may be overspending on their purchase.

A recent study found that texting and talking on a cellphone while simply walking results in walking errors and may interfere with memory recall. "We were surprised to find that talking and texting on a cellphone were so disruptive to one’s gait and memory recall of the target location," says co-author Eric M. Lamberg, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Technology and Management, Stony Brook University.

We can all attest to the distracting effects of cellphone use on driving, too, so I wondered if the same holds true with smart shopping. I called up savings expert Andrea Woroch to ask her if talking and texting on a cellphone is distracting while shopping, too.

"When you are talking or texting on your cellphone, you are much more likely to overlook coupons,  misread or miss sale signs entirely,  stray from your list and ultimately make poor purchasing decisions, all of which lead to overspending. Scouting out deals and shopping with coupons with the intention of limiting what you spend takes your full attention," she says.

Woroch also said the only time you should be on your cell while shopping is if you are using it to save money with a coupon app, a price comparison app such as RedLaser or checking in on FourSquare or other savings and deal sites.  "Otherwise gossiping, chitchatting or simply making plans, whether texting or talking, will ultimately distract you and lead to busting your shopping budget," she says.

Have you ever talked on your cell while shopping and found that you overspent?

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