Americans have a billion-dollar drunk spending problem

If you’ve ever woken up after a night of drinking with a headache and some alarming bank notifications, you aren’t alone: Nearly half of American adults admit to regularly shopping while drunk — and it appears to be getting worse.

Americans spent an average of $448 per person in drunk purchases in 2017, nearly double what they did in 2016, a new survey of 2,000 adults from shopping comparison site found. That would equate to billions of dollars on drunk shopping per year nationwide, the authors said. Men are responsible for more drunk spending than women: $564 versus $282. Generation X spent the most on drunk purchases, averaging $738 last year — more than triple the amount ($206) that millennials spent.

So what are people buying while under the influence? Everything from clothing to gambling, the study found. Some 61% of shoppers say they drunkenly spend on food. The next most common purchases are shoes and clothes (26%) and gambling (25%). Hannah Rimm, a 25-year-old social media manager in New York said she regularly makes $100 hauls on online clothing retailer ASOS only to return the clothes as soon as she sees what she’s bought. “Drunk me has weird taste,” she said.

Lindsey Hamma, a wedding planner based in New York City, bids on strange clothes and jewelry on eBay, -0.12% while drinking, including rare Puma brand sneakers that were ultimately too small and a box of expensive costume jewelry. Another told MarketWatch she spent more than $300 on Christmas decorations, including 500 candy canes. “I had those candy canes for two years!” she said. Kate Bennis, a video producer in New York bought her cat a mini police officer costume one night after having some drinks. She said it’s one of the best things she ever bought.

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