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TheStreet Open House

Do You Suffer From ATM Amnesia?

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet) You had a wallet-full of cash just yesterday. You're sure of it. But today, nothing but some faded receipts and a single dollar bill. Where did the money go? Seems you're suffering from "ATM amnesia," the malady of missing money.

Research conducted by Barclays reveals it's a global affliction. Over half of U.K. consumers (59%) admit to losing track of cash expenditures that's 30 million Brits losing pounds, and we're not talking about weight loss.

The study says sufferers of ATM amnesia are losing track of what amounts to over $32 (USD) each week about $1700 per year. Almost half of those surveyed (44%) said they have been caught short, sheepishly finding themselves without enough cash to pay for something when reaching for their wallet.

And it's not just about paper money. Losing track of change after breaking into a bill is the most common symptom of the missing money syndrome, affecting nearly one-third (32%) of Brits. This is closely followed by being less aware of cash spending compared to that on a card (31%), and simply spending cash more quickly than they plan to (24%). One in five (19%) say bills and coins are too hard to keep track of and 15% admit to leaving loose change in pockets and items of clothing.

ATM amnesia seems to plague slightly more women than men. Six in ten women (61%) admit they often can't account for how they spent their last cash withdrawal compared to 57% of men. About one-third of women (34%) admitted to being able to account for all of their cash spending at the end of the month, compared to 39% of men.

It's not about having a "senior moment," either. ATM amnesia is most likely to occur in those aged between 18 and 24 than any other age group, with seven in ten (69%) Millennials admitting they can't account for how they spent their last cash withdrawal.

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

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