A new CNBC and Acorns study found that while nearly 90% of both men and women sometimes make impulse purchases, nearly a quarter of men said they shelled out more than $100 the last time they made an impulse buy, compared to just 16% of women.
The Invest in You Spending Survey was conducted by CNBC and Acorns in partnership with SurveyMonkey from June 17–20. A diverse group of 2,803 Americans was polled across the country, ranging in ages from 18 to over 65. Of the total, 1,320 were men and 1,498 had a college or graduate degree.
This survey may be surprising to many of you, but not to me. You see, women are browsers by nature and men simply are not. You’ve never heard of three men who are talking amongst themselves and say, “You know George and Bill, do you guys have any interest in heading in town tomorrow to do some window shopping?” In fact, that is the exact opposite of what men like to do. Men like to get in the store, buy what they are going to buy, and then quickly make their way back to doing what they were doing.
Therein lies the reason that they are more likely to make impulse purchases because in the heat of the moment they are ready to make a purchasing decision whereas women are by nature more methodical purchasers, even if you believe that they shop more often. The new trend that is happening amongst both men and women is called shopping while tipsy, or even drunk, and it’s costing Americans millions and millions of dollars.
In the last year, Americans spent nearly $40 billion while being hammered—yes that’s $40 billion with a CAPITAL B. So, just what did people spend money on while sipping a Chardonnay on a Winesday or having a Woodford Reserve in their study before bedtime? Food, shoes, clothing, cigarettes, and shockingly even a new car!
We know that people do better socially after having a beer or wine to muster up some courage, but could the same be true when it comes to shopping? Will you be a smarter shopper with a slight buzz, or will this lead you down the inevitable spiral of just being more in debt?
52% of people say they spend money on food for takeout or drunk snacking, which makes a little bit of sense. However, a whopping 43% of people admit that they buy shoes or clothing while under the influence and 14% say they book a vacation (which they probably can’t afford).
Inebriated folks spent an average of approximately $447.57 on items in 2018 – almost double the $206 spent in 2017. And the total spent for drunk shopping increased by $10 billion dollars compared to 2017.
What does this all mean to you? Well, an innocent glass of wine, bourbon, or beer might seem like a way to take the edge off temporarily but could have long-lasting effects on your household finances. Your true impulses and desires to purchase items you normally wouldn’t might just come to fruition when you imbibe after you start browsing on the internet. Be careful about this because we don’t often see these purchases until a month later when the credit card statement hits our mailboxes. Once you read what you’ve bought, it might just get you drinking even more.