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Study: Cocktails and clicks lead to drunk shopping

The holiday season and pandemic could add to the trend and send consumers towards financial disaster.

NORFOLK, Va. — 'Tis the season to shop for those you love and with the coronavirus pandemic, you'll probably do a lot of that on your phone or computer. Add some cocktails to the mix and you could be heading for a financial disaster caused by "drunk shopping."

Research shows one in four people admit to doing it and it's becoming more common.

"When I first saw the survey I was like... I thought I was the only one," Jon Brodsky said.

Brodsky is the CEO of Finder.com. His company started surveying people in 2017 and each year, the number rises. 

"Now that we're four years in, a quarter of Americans admit to doing it, and we always think that's a low number. Like, yeah, you admit to doing it," Brodsky said.   

So, who is actually shopping drunk and what are they buying? Gabrielle Pastorek with Finder.com said the survey shows quite a range.

"Maybe not surprisingly, but Millenials, Gen Z, Gen X even spend more than Baby Boomers and older generations," Pastorek said.

Pastorek says shoppers bought food the most, then alcohol, then clothes. 

"Our data showed shoes, clothes, and accessories is up. About over 45% of women have admitted to drunk shopping clothing, shoes, and accessories online which is a little bit up from the past two years," Pastorek explained.

Brodsky and his wife ended up buying a backyard jungle gym for their son, who is a fitness fanatic. 

He says they made the decision after they drank a lot of wine.

"When I was sober, I was like, 'No! That's a fortune, there's no way.' Then I'd get tipsy and say, 'Maybe we should...' and my wife was sober and she'd say 'No,'" Brodsky said. "Then one night and we both had a bit too much wine and said, 'Let's just email them and we started getting quotes.'"

Drunk shopping is serious. It can leave you in a bad financial spot which creates other problems, especially during the pandemic. So, how can you avoid the habit? 

Pastorek shared these tips: "If your accounts are linked to your PayPal, Amazon Pay, even directly to your credit cards, unlink your account so you at least have to go get your credit card and put your numbers in, not just, 'Click, click, click.'"

Also, make a list just like you would if you are going inside a store and stick to it. 

And above all else, drink responsibly!