How Expensive Is Your Drunk Shopping Habit?

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iStock

A night of heavy drinking can lead to more than just nausea and a killer headache the morning afterward. It can also leave you with a credit card bill for some taxidermied alligator head you don't remember buying on Amazon. This is all thanks to tipsy shopping, which, according to a recent survey conducted by the Archstone Recovery Center, may be more expensive than you think.

Drunk Americans may be spending as much as $30 billion annually while shopping online, The Daily Dot reports. A separate survey conducted in February 2018 by the website Finder suggests as many as 46 percent of people have made a purchase while under the influence. Those drunk purchases add up: According to Finder’s research, Americans spend an average of $447.57 per year shopping while buzzed.

Gin is apparently the most dangerous alcohol for your wallet, according to the Archstone Recovery Center. Gin drinkers in Archstone’s survey spent the most on Amazon shopping sprees—an average of $82.40—and they were also likely to splurge on more expensive items (an average of $235.10 for the most expensive purchase). Whiskey drinkers, on the other hand, spend the least amount of money when they’re drunk ($38.84 on average), but they’re right behind gin drinkers in terms of splurging ($204.70 for the priciest Amazon orders).

But who spends more while drunk shopping on Amazon? Women, says Archstone, who spend an average of $45.39 on a drunk shopping spree (men spend an average of $39.87). Men spend more than women on their most expensive splurges, though ($198.27 and $154.81, respectively).

People regret some purchases more than others, Archstone says. Almost 67 percent of people in the survey regretted purchasing cell phones and phone accessories, and 34 percent regretted purchasing books. On the other hand, nobody regretted buying musical instruments, and a full 93 percent said they enjoyed their purchases of pet supplies.

Archstone’s survey wasn’t exactly scientific. According to the center’s methodology report, the study surveyed 1094 people, and the only qualifier for participation was that subjects had to have purchased an item on Amazon while drinking alcohol.

But the results are fascinating, and it’s a good reminder that shopping—like driving, texting, and exercising—is better left for when you’re sober.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

Determined to Save Money This Year? Try the App That Invests Your Spare Change Automatically

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

If you just started getting into the habit of putting money into a savings account, the thought of investing that cash can feel intimidating. But investing a tiny bit is often better than not investing at all, even if you only have literal pennies to spare. That's the idea behind Acorns, an investment app that invests your spare change automatically without you having to think about it, according to NerdWallet.

To use it, you link your debit or credit cards to your Acorns account. The app then keeps track of every purchase you make, and with your permission, it rounds up those transactions to the nearest dollar, transferring that spare change to an Acorns investment portfolio.

These individual investments are almost too small to notice, and that's the point. Instead of investing an intimidating portion of your savings all at once, you invest small amounts that add up over time—hopefully making your money back and then some, with little risk or effort on your part. Acorns also gives you the option to choose how risky you want to be with your investments, with levels ranging from conservative to aggressive.

If you ever decide you're ready to start investing more than a few cents at a time, Acorns allows you to transfer larger amounts of money into your investment account, too, as long as it's more than $5. And if you ever feel like you're letting go of too much, you can shut off the automatic feature and choose which transactions to round up and invest manually.

To sign up for the service, you have to be willing to put down a little more than pocket change. Investing in one of its pre-built portfolios requires a minimum balance of $5. On top of that, you need to pay $1 a month for a taxable investment account, $2 a month for an IRA account, or $3 a month for both types of investment accounts and an Acorns checking account. (College students with a functioning .edu email address are eligible to try the taxable investment service free for four years.)

Now that your investments are taken care of, check out these other apps that can make being an adult less stressful.

[h/t NerdWallet]

If You Can Save $500 a Month Toward Retirement, Here's How Much You'll End Up With

iStock.com/BrianAJackson
iStock.com/BrianAJackson

You don’t need to be a master money strategist to know that setting aside funds for your eventual retirement is a necessity. While it might be tempting to keep cash in your pocket now and assume the Social Security benefits that will kick in later will keep you afloat, the reality is that many people won’t receive enough livable income from that government program, especially with the mounting medical bills that advanced age can bring.

Unless you plan on working a full- or part-time job indefinitely, saving now will provide you with a far more comfortable third act in life. If you’re wondering how, CNBC recently broke out their retirement savings calculator to estimate what the average person can expect to end up with at age 67 if they set a goal of saving $500 per month.

At 25 years old and calculating a four percent rate of return, a retiree would have $628,918 in the bank. At six percent, it would be $1,055,703.

Obviously, the earlier you start to save, the better. But it’s never too late. If you begin saving at age 30, you’ll have $490,213 accrued at a four percent rate of return, or $763,609 at six percent. Starting at age 40 will net you $282,505 at four percent. Starting at age 50 is predictably less rewarding: at four percent interest, you’ll have $142,185.

Most people can, of course, do these back-of-napkin estimates themselves using amounts better suited to their own specific situations. Even saving as little as $200 a month early in life might make the difference between enjoying your retirement without obligation or clocking in for part-time work. 

[h/t CNBC]

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