impulse buy

Most Americans Have Spent Over $100 On Impulse Purchase

If you’ve ever been up late watching BET and purchased a set of knives or bought the definitive Hip Hop Box set on a whim there’s good news for you. You no longer need to be ashamed as you’re not alone.

According to a new study done commissioned by and conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International 54% of all Americans have made an impulse purchase of at least $100. Twenty percent of those who have made impulse purchases say they’ve spent over $1,000.

Interesting takeaways from the study:

  • Millennials are the most likely to make an impulse purchase for themselves, 30-49 year-olds are the most likely to do so for a child and 65+ year-olds are the most likely to impulse buy for their spouse or significant other.
  • Most times the recipient of the impulse buy was one’s self (47%), followed by 21% who cited a child and 16% who said their spouse or significant other.
  • 1 in 5 seniors say they have never made an impulse purchase, more than any other age group. Just 8% of people under age 50 have never made an impulse purchase.
  • Only 7% of millennials made most of their impulse buys on a smartphone or tablet.
  • One-third of those who make $75,000+ have made an impulse purchase of $1,000 or more, making them the highest spenders of the survey.

So we learn that millennials aren’t as frugal with their money as old people. Which isn’t exactly surprising. What is surprising is that most millennials didn’t make their impulse buys on a tablet or phone.  Only 13% made their impulse purchases on a computer.  One would think that those two numbers would be sky high, but perhaps these are in person purchases which would make sense.  There’s a lot less “impulse” involved when you need to click though a dozen confirmation screens.  Whereas it’s probably a lot easier to buy skinny jeans and manbun accessories if you’re in your local hipster watering hole.


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