Personal finance web site Finder.com released its third annual report on “spontaneous drunk purchases,” and the amount spent soared this year to $39.4 billion from $30.43 billion last year.
Researchers at the firm said an estimated 53 million American adults “admit to making a purchase under the influence.” And, on average, they doled out just over $736 in the year. By gender, men spent $870 on drunk purchases versus $511 for women. The data included online and in-store purchases.
While it’s unclear exactly why spending rose $9 billion, Finder.com said the data showed that the percentage of Americans “that admit to buying under the influence decreased to 26 percent [of the population] in 2019 from 46 percent in 2018. Which means the amount we’re spending per person is on the rise.”
The initial study in January 2017 showed the average American spending $206 per year on various products while under the influence. In 2018, the amount rose to $447. This most recent data reveals a year-over-year increase of 64 percent.
Regarding the top categories, food and apparel/footwear took the top slots with 52.1 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively. Respondents cited more than one category purchased in the year. Other top categories included cigarettes, gambling, DVDs/movies, furniture and technology.
“When it comes to the generations, Millennials spent the most [while] drunk, dishing out a whopping $1,047,” authors of the report said. “That’s more than double the spending of Baby Boomers ($466) and Gen X ($469).”
The firm noted that 47.2 percent of females consumed alcohol each week, which compares to 63.3 percent of men. And 59.7 percent of Generation X consume alcohol on a weekly basis versus 57 percent of Baby Boomers and 53.8 percent of Millennials.
Rachel Dix-Kessler, consumer advocate at Finder.com, said, “Nothing says buzzkill like a dent in your bank account after a night of drinking,” and added that if consumers are “add-to-the-cart happy while under the influence” they might want to “remove all payment methods” on their apps and online accounts. Finder.com also offers “Icebox,” an app which replaces the “buy now” button of retail sites.
“Most important, if this is an ongoing problem, consider evaluating your relationship with alcohol,” she added. “Nothing is worth tarnishing your personal and financial well-being.”
Read Finder.com’s full report here.