March 17, 2019
Each year on March 17, nearly 33 million Irish-Americans and fellow partiers raise pints of Guinness and forkfuls of cabbage in the name of Ireland’s primary patron saint, according to Wallet Hub.
But what they may not be raising is their credit score. In fact, it might be a good idea to leave all of your credit and debit cards at home before the big St. Patrick’s Day celebration, based on a study just completed by Finder.com.
Research by the “better decision” website has found that Americans spent close to $40 billion ($39.4 billion) on spontaneous drunk purchases last year. That’s up from Finder’s 2017 data, which pegged U.S. drunk purchases at $30.43 billion.
“Looks like a hefty bill could be at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day, considering 26% of those [Americans] who drink admitted to making a purchase under the influence,” Finder’s Consumer Advocate Rachel Dix-Kessler noted in an interview with Forbes last week, as the holiday was fast-approaching.
And they didn’t lay out small change. The Finder researchers say that the estimated 53.4 million Americans who imbibed and shopped spent, on average, $736 per person—with men spending the lion’s share at $870, and women close behind at $511.
Just what are they buying? Men spend the most on food and cigarettes, but 38% percent also admit to buying shoes and clothing. The top purchase for women under the influence also is food, with 58% saying they often buy a meal after a drink. Following a good meal, 52% of women said they purchased shoes or clothing—no surprise. However, a full 27% said they gambled.
Finally, Millennials doled out the most on drunk purchases during the past year ($1,047), while Baby Boomer spent $466 and Gen-Xers laid out $469.
Research contact: @racheldixkessler