On Impulse: Do Men or Women Spend More on Spontaneous Buys?

On Impulse: Do Men or Women Spend More on Spontaneous Buys?

Almost everyone gets the urge to splurge at some point.

In fact, a new survey by CreditCards.com finds that as many as 75% of American adults fess up to making an occasional impulse buy.

But while equal numbers of men and women admit to making spontaneous purchases, it turns out there's a surprising gender divide when it comes to how much they shell out—and why.


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According to the research, women are far more likely to make impulse buys that cost less than $25—while men, on the other hand, are much more inclined to shell out over $1,000 at one time. And although a mere 9% of females said they had spent over $500 impulsively, 21% of men said the same.

Further, the men and women surveyed reported significantly different reasons for making spontaneous purchases. Specifically, men were more than twice as likely as women to make those purchases while intoxicated. At the same time, twice as many women said they splurged while feeling sad.

Other common triggers? Excitement and boredom, with 49% and 30% of all respondents blaming their buys on those emotions, respectively.

The big problem, the study found, is that nearly half of the respondents ultimately ended up regretting their spontaneous purchases. "When it comes to shopping, many Americans don't think about the consequences," Dr. Dorothy Sasmor, a psychologist, told CreditCards.com. "People can be impulsive—'I want what I want now'—and don't really think through their decisions."

To learn how to achieve better control over your own spending, learn the eight emotions that can sabotage your finances—and how to reboot your mindset.


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