40+ shopping stats: The scoop on American shopping habits | finder.com

Shopping statistics

Here’s how much Americans spend celebrating, pampering and showing their love throughout the year.

Finder regularly partners with research provider Pureprofile to learn more about the shopping habits and financial health of our fellow Americans, gathering exclusive data from thousands of respondents that sheds light on our debt, drinking and doddering through life.

Here’s how that data breaks down to reveal just how we’re spending our hard-earned cash over the holidays, among loved ones and when celebrating the good things in life.

Drunk shopping
Date of survey: March 2018

Drunk shopping

With Americans spending $5.4 billion on alcohol each week — an average $36.56 on beer and booze per person — there’s no doubt many of us have indulged in tipsy retail therapy.

Of those who drink alcohol weekly, nearly half of us — 46%, in fact — admit to making a purchase while under the influence. That’s about 68 million Americans.

Some 46% swipe cards or lay out cash after a drink or two, spending an average $206 on our sauced up shopping sprees. We’re most likely to spend on soaking up our alcohol, with 60.83% of shoppers saying they spend on food (got to brighten up those bleary eyes somehow).

The inebriated also have an affinity for buying shoes and clothes (25.09%) and gambling (24.91%).


Showing love on Valentine’s Day
Date of survey: February 2018

Showing love on Valentine’s Day

Ah, what we’ll do for love. More than 151 million Americans show their affection by spending on their loved ones for Valentine’s Day.

In 2018, we planned to drop an average $170.51 on our wives and $105.21 on our girlfriends. Which is sweet, but compare that to the mere $71.17 we planned to spend on our husbands and $59.34 on our boyfriends. (Sorry, guys!)

Our love extends beyond our significant others, with 31.6% of us spoiling our children and 21.4% buying for other family members. That’s not to say we’re not celebrating ourselves — 14.8% of us planned to self-gift when spending that Valentine’s money.

A sizzling 3.4% of us — more than 5 million Americans — even planned to buy a gift for a secret lover!


Valentine’s day and pets
Date of survey: February 2018

Valentine’s day and pets

Humans aren’t the only ones lapping up the gifts on Valentine’s. Many of us also planned to pamper our four-footed furries with gifts from the heart.

Some 11% of us intended to shower our pups with presents, spending an average $32.48 on these pooches. Another 6.5% of us aimed to buy something special for our cats, laying out about $29.01 on our kitties.

While that may sound like only a few of us, that show of love adds up to $822.9 million we’ll spend showing our fur-ever friends just how much we love them.


Postponed Valentine’s Day
Date of survey: February 2018

Postponed Valentine’s Day

Some of us work to keep both our lovers and our wallets happy by celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 15th. In fact, an estimated 62.1 million Americans have celebrated Valentine’s the day after.

Interestingly, slightly more women than men celebrate later to save dollars, with 26.1% of women fessing up to feting after February 14th, compared with 24.4% of men.

Millennials are most likely to wait later to love, with 41.6% admitting to having celebrated February 14th after the fact in the past, compared with just 26.2% of Gen Xers and 15.7% of boomers.


Super bowl statistics
Date of survey: February 2018

Super bowl statistics

Not just a game, the Super Bowl has evolved into an unofficial American holiday. While a few of us are lucky enough to celebrate from the stadium, most of us rally Sunday’s big game with friends in our homes or local haunts.

Americans spend an average $14.1 billion over Super Bowl weekend, a lot of it on eats and treats — including some $281 million on chicken wings and even more on the 325 million gallons of beer glugged while hooting over touchdowns and turnovers.


Cost of turkeys
Date of survey: November 2016

Cost of turkeys

The humble turkey dinner contributes to the 45 million turkeys consumed to celebrate the historic 1621 meetup of Pilgrims and Indians.

But how much are we spending on these big Thanksgiving birds? More than $1.05 billion, it turns out. With 77% of all the whole turkeys purchased annually headed for our Thanksgiving tables, gobblers may want to start hiding from us around Halloween.


Cost of pumpkins
Date of survey: November 2017 and 2016

Cost of pumpkins

Speaking of October 31st, it’s not Halloween without a glowing, toothy jack-o’-lantern. In 2017, Americans were expected to spend $618.03 million on carving out pumpkins for their doorsteps or porches — and that’s after the costumes and party supplies.

Still, it’s less than we spent in 2016 — a whopping $650 billion on average — thanks to cheaper pumpkins overall: $4.12 per gourd from an average $4.53 in 2016.



Mother’s Day spending
Date of survey: October 2017

Mother’s Day spending

You don’t have to sport a heart-festooned “Mom” tattoo to show your love for the lady who brought you into this world. Americans spend about $30.3 billion on Mother’s Day gifts — that’s about $124 per procreated person.

Always ones to go big, Texans appear to be most generous, spending $248 on average, followed by New York at $225 per person and Washington at $210. On the other end, Oregonians admit to only spending about $30 per person, trailed by Wisconsinites at $33 and Indianans at $34 per person.


Borrowing from friends and family
Date of survey: June 2017

Borrowing from friends and family

Americans are getting by with the help of their loved ones to the tune of $184 billion a year. Of the 1 in 3 respondents who said they’ve borrowed from the Bank of Family and Friends, 16% did so for a spontaneous purchase.

Others needed a boost for more practical spending, with 8% using the help to buy a car or other vehicle and another 7% putting it toward furniture or large items for their home.


Our problem with impulse spending
Date of survey: August 2017

Our problem with impulse spending

Thanks to the digital age, we now have more ways to shop than ever before. However, such convenience and choice comes with the potential to fall prey to spending more than we intended.

How much are we spending online and in stores?
A whopping 95.68% of us admit to making impulsive purchases either online or in stores. At least monthly, 64.02% of people shop impulsively on the Internet and another 77.16% do so in person.

The average we admit to spending on impulse purchases online is $81.75, compared with the $85.85 we spend spontaneously in stores.

Interestingly, 52% of impulsive shoppers buy because they’re worried about missing out on a deal, and 6% feel pressured by friends, store clerks or online prompts.

What gender divide?
Of the genders, 96.09% of women and 94.80% of men make impulsive purchases either online or in stores. Perhaps surprisingly, men spend more impulsively online than women do: $105.35 per session compared with $70.97 for their female counterparts.

Talking ‘bout my generation
Generationally, 90% of baby boomers, 96.84% of Gen Xers and 96.48% of millennials shop without restraint either online or in stores.

Of online purchases, boomers spend with reckless abandon an average $174.25, followed by $71.40 for millennials and $65.56 for Gen Xers.


Debt regret
Date of survey: October 2017

Debt regret

Feeling pangs of post-purchase remorse after all that spending? You’re not alone: More than 3 in 5 Americans experience debt regret — and most wish they’d saved up instead.

Of those of us who carry debt, 46% say they regret it was shopping that put them in their predicament, representing nearly half (49%) of all women and 40% of men.

And there’s not too much difference among the generations: 37% of baby boomers, 46% of Gen Xers and 48% of millennials with debt regret say that shopping helped put them there.

Black Friday
Why sit around, digesting all that Thanksgiving Day indulgence, when you could be tearing down the stores for the latest Black Friday deal?

For Black Friday 2017, 47.80% of Americans planned to do just that, holding off on buying what they want until the busiest shopping day of the year. And they planned to spend an average $550 doing so.

Of those who planned to fight the crowds, men planned to spend an average $651, with women lagging slightly at $463. Baby boomers planned to spend an average of $438, followed by millennials at $557 and Gen Xers at $604.

Sale purchase regrets
It’s hard to resist a good sale on Black Friday or any ol’ day. But at least 43.50% of Americans end up regretting buying on sale.

Those of us who’ve regretted a discounted purchase ended up spending an average $431 on it, with men saying they spent $526 and women spending $343.

Breaking down the numbers by generation, Gen Xers have had misgivings mounting to an average $585, followed by boomers at $413 and millennials at $236. Our purchases were most commonly technology or electronics purchases at 30.23%, with clothing and accessories at 23.39% and household items at 14.67%.

Some 65.15% of us who admit to buying on sale say that they wouldn’t have made a purchase if it wasn’t discounted.

Holiday spending
Oh, December — ’tis the season to spend! More than 211 million Americans planned to shop up the 2017 holidays, dropping an average $664 on gifts over the season. Interestingly, men planned to spend more on gifts than women: $725.17 compared with $609.49.

When it comes to generations, Gen X planned to spend the most at an average of $782.40 each. Up next were millennials at $609.03, followed by baby boomers at $576.39.


For media inquiries:

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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