• One-third spending more on more expensive liquor.
  • 1 in 5 shop online specifically to cheer themselves up.
  • Infographic showing emotional spending stats across the U.S.

The switch from doing most things in real life to practically living online full-time has been a good distraction for many – like ordering takeout via apps to save us from cooking every day. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Online shopping has soared, and with so little to do, it’s no wonder; what’s not to love about treating yourself to something you certainly don’t need, but you absolutely want for that little endorphin rush?

Well, it all depends on whether you’re doing what’s known as ‘emotional spending’ – where you buy something you might not necessarily need in order to ease your emotions. Rehabs.com, a provider of rehabilitation and addiction treatment resources, conducted a poll of 3,040 respondents and found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of Marylanders admit to emotional spending during the pandemic (compared to a national average of 51%).

Do we really need a second coffee machine or a third waffle maker? Probably not, but does it make us feel good to see that package coming to the front door and unwrapping it like it’s Christmas? Yes! Broken down by gender on a national scale, women are more prone to emotional spending (60%) than men (47%).

Emotional Spending Stats Across America

Nationally, 30% of respondents say they have treated themselves to more expensive, higher-quality alcohol during lockdown to try and cheer themselves up. The survey also revealed that 15% of people admit to shopping while drunk during the lockdown, and nearly a third (32%) said they tend to do these online shopping sprees when they feel low.

The survey also revealed that about half (45%) of respondents have spent more money shopping online as a direct result of the emotional stress of the pandemic, whether that’s been caused by feelings of isolation from loved ones, personal loss, or general uncertainty about the future. A treat is just the thing to make one feel better even if it’s only temporarily, which explains why more than 1 in 5 say they’ve done some online shopping while feeling stressed, specifically to cheer themselves up. 


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