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Drunken shopping cost the average American nearly $450 last year, study finds

How to safely shop online

During the holiday season, shopping online is convenient. Following simple tips will help keep shoppers safe from some scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
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During the holiday season, shopping online is convenient. Following simple tips will help keep shoppers safe from some scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Drunk people are spending a lot of money.

That’s according to a study by Finder.com, a private company based in New York. The shopping comparison site says it surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults and found that Americans spent an average of $447.57 a person in drunk purchases last year — which would equate to an estimated $30 billion.

About 60 percent of adults drink an average of seven alcoholic beverages weekly, the study said, spending $5.4 billion on drinks a week — an average of nearly $37 per person.

More than 50 percent of shoppers say they spend money on food, according to the study. The next most common splurges are shoes, clothes and gambling, Finder.com said.

But are bar-hopping millennials to blame? The study found that generation Xers spent the most on drunk purchases — an average of $738.87. More than triple what millennials spent ($206.11). But generation Xers spent less on alcohol on an average week — $36.91 — than millennials ($59.28).

A little more than 60 percent of millennials who drink regularly admitted to drunk shopping, the study said. While about 51 percent of generation Xers and roughly 31 percent of baby boomers admitted as much.

Retailers have apparently caught on, adding more sales after 9 p.m. to encourage traffic from drunken buyers, Marketwatch reported.

And the drinks aren’t cheap. Americans spent $225 billion on alcohol in 2016, up from $175 billion in 2007, according to separate data from Euromonitor International, a market-research firm, Marketwatch said.

But there are ways for people to recoup their losses. One option is to return the items, said Madison Reed, a spokeswoman at the personal finance site ValuePenguin, Marketwatch reported. Another is to turn to technology: an app called DrnkPay connects to debit cards and limits users’ purchases if they’ve spent a certain amount at a bar that day (or night), the publication said.

Drunken purchases also include transportation. Kenny Bachman told McClatchy last month that after a night of partying, he blacked out in an Uber in West Virginia and told the driver to take him home — to New Jersey. He ended up paying more than $1,600.

However, it appears a New Jersey food delivery company is offering to pay Bachman’s fare because he chose not to drive drunk.

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