Brits spend up to £1bn on impulse buying every month


Brits are spending up to £1bn a month on unplanned or spur of the moment purchases, new research has revealed. 

The survey, which was conducted by 118 118 Money, asked the British public about their impulse spending habits, with a third of us spontaneously buying something on a weekly basis and 75% of us spending up to £30 a month. 

Our biggest downfall is limited or special offers, with one in three of us being persuaded into an unplanned purchase as a result of this. Our partner (16%) and family (12%) are also big influences. 

Unsurprisingly, Saturday’s between 12-3pm are the most popular time for making impulse purchases, when many of us will likely be hitting the high street for a spot of retail therapy. However, 50% of us admit to making an impulse purchase on any day.  

When it comes to paying for our sporadic buys, a third of us will set aside a specific budget for this, knowing we are likely to make a purchase that way. The most popular places for people to make impulse purchases are at home while browsing the internet (31.9%) and in store (49%).  

Excitement is a big driver for many of us when buying impulsively with one in three admitting to feeling a buzz, although for the 18-24s, 80% will experience a thrill from an impulse purchase. One on five of us will feel guilty and 40% will feel nothing at all. 

Top five most commonly impulse purchased items: 

1.    Clothing – 47% 

2.    Food – 40% 

3.    Homeware – 19% 

4.    Beauty products – 15% 

5.     Shoes – 15% 

David Goodman, Chief Commercial Officer at 118 118 Money, commented on the findings: 

“An impulse purchase may generally be unplanned and spur of the moment but as a nation, many of us are so regularly buying things in this way that we are actually setting aside additional budget to accommodate this in our lives! 

“Limited or special offers are a big influence and with a third of us feeling excited by an impulse purchase, it’s hardly surprising we are regularly indulging.”