Americans splurge $5,400 each year on impulse purchases

March 19, 2018

Do you get the urge to splurge? On average, Americans spontaneously buy three things a week, based on a recent survey of 2,000 adults nationwide by Slickdeals, a consumer-driven deal-sharing platform.

And that adds up fast: Respondents said they spend an average of $450 every month on impulse purchases. That’s $5,400 annually—or $324,000 over the course of a lifetime, which is more than many people contribute to their retirement accounts.

Indeed, based on the research, performed last month, fully one in five (20%) of the products or services Americans buy are not planned; they are acquired on the spur of the moment.

Top impulse buys include food and groceries, clothing, household items, takeout meals and shoes. And the majority of impulse spending happens in the store or restaurant: Three in four Americans buy the candy at the register before they check out. Nearly one-third of us (32%) get a yen for food after passing a restaurant. Twenty-five percent of us cannot leave that cute pair of shoes when they see them in the store.

Interestingly enough, we tend to buy on impulse when they’re happy and excited as opposed to sad or stressed. What’s more, the majority of impulse buys (54%) tend to be for ourselves.

One factor that encourages impulse buying? Slightly under half of us (40%) have gone out and purchased something because of a coupon in the mail and 33% have acquired a product after receiving a coupon in their email inbox.

Research contact: @slickdeals

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