What's more unfashionable than paying in cash? Not much. But the advantages in many situations outweigh the hassle of counting your change.

Not for convenience. In an age when some banks let you pick your own photo or logo to put on your credit card, some people see using cash as a throwback, says this article at Investopedia.com. Indeed, it says, the convenience of plastic is not what you're after when you choose to use green-backs. Still, if overspending is your problem, paying cash is one of the few ways to to finish a month without having increased your debt load.

Cash equals pain - and better health. Paying in cash at the grocery compels shoppers to make healthier food choices, according to this episode of Scientific American's 60 Second Mind podcast series by Christie Nicholson. Researchers found that credit- and debit-card shopping really does foster impulse and junk-food buying. By contrast, shoppers feel a sort of "pain" in forking over cash that limits the impulse-buying.

Cash is king of discounts. This post by Michael Estrin at Bankrate.com says there's money to be saved in paying cash at establishments that offer discounts for doing so. First, there's a rise in the number of gas stations offering a discount for cash. In addition, take-out restaurants and doctors' offices often give discounts for cash; sometimes, the savings are substantial. Ask in advance, and don't be bashful.

Cash for clunkers. Cars.com offers this post by Colin Bird to outline the advantages of paying cash for a car. The thought seems im-possible for most new-car buyers, but the savings in interest costs on a car loan could be substantial. The advantage is less clear if the dealer is offering zero interest.?http://bit.ly/H3iZ6w?And watch out: Since dealers often benefit from the financing part of a car sale, Autoadvice.com warns that tipping your hand too early that you'll pay cash likely will push a dealer to look for other ways to make money on a car sale.

Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ReidKan.