More than half of Americans hide purchases from family and friends out of embarrassment

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Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of First Internet Bank reveal the percentage of Americans who hide purchases from their loved ones. (Photo by Crew on Unsplash)

In today’s world of online shopping, have you ever made a purchase you regret? If so, you’re not alone — seeing as the average American spends over $2K a year on purchases they come to regret.

A study of 2,000 Americans examining their spending habits and behaviors found the average respondent spends $202.34 a month on unnecessary purchases ‒ that’s a whopping $2,429.16 a year.

It was also revealed 76 percent are guilty of making an impulse purchase. Of those, it only takes the average respondent nine hours before regret over a whimsical buy sets in.

Thats not all ‒ three in four (76 percent) admitted to making financial decisions that they wish they could take back.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of First Internet Bank, member FDIC, the survey found that 38 percent still think they’re “very good” with money.

In spite of thinking they’ve got their finances under control, 59 percent have hidden the cost of the items they’ve purchased from others.

And 56 percent revealed they’ve hidden purchases from family and friends out of pure embarrassment.

One of the central things that encourages people to overspend is online shopping. Sixty-four percent think they’d save a lot of money if they stopped shopping on the internet.

Results found that the average person would save $103.55 a month if they didn’t make non-essential purchases online.

Of those who’ve made an impulse buy, the most common instinctive purchase were “clothes I don’t need” (49 percent).

Other top spends that people made off the cuff included: ordering in food/drinks (39 percent), big ticket technology like laptops or televisions (37 percent), shoes (35 percent) and small ticket technology like chargers or headphones (35 percent).

“What makes online shopping so attractive in today’s world — convenience and immediate gratification — also are what make them prime contributors to buyer’s remorse,” noted First Internet Bank Chief Operating Officer Nicole Lorch.

There are definitely certain times and places that prompt more impulsive buys. Fifty-two percent admitted to making purchases on a whim.

Half (52 percent) will even perform little mental gymnastics and think of a future event they might use the item for.

Boredom or a late night out (both 44 percent) will increase the likelihood of an impulse buy going through. Others blamed their last-minute spends on their insomnia (36 percent).

Sixty-nine percent of respondents blamed online shopping as their number one impulse buy location.

Shopping in-person came in second with 63 percent, while mobile/app stores rounded out the top three (55 percent).

“At one time or another, we’ve all bought something we later questioned,” Lorch added. “First Internet Bank provides financially sound answers to help make the right financial choices. From determining the monthly budget that works for you, to investing your savings in a high-yield money market, our goal is to help customers manage their money wisely — and most importantly, without remorse.”


  1. Clothing 62%
  2. Food 58%
  3. Shoes 56%
  4. Drink 52%
  5. Jewelry 50%
  6. Big ticket technology 46%
  7. Small ticket technology 45%
  8. Books 43%
  9. Video games 41%
  10. Tickets to events 40%
  11. Apps 37%
  12. Magazines 37%
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  1. Clothes I don’t need 49%
  2. Ordering in food/drinks 39%
  3. Big ticket technology 37%
  4. Shoes 35%
  5. Small ticket technology 35%
  6. Vacations 34%
  7. Video games 32%
  8. Loaning/giving money 32%
  9. Fad item 31%
  10. Ride-share apps 27%
  11. Bags 23%
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  1. It was too much money 59%
  2. I thought they’d laugh at me 53%
  3. It didn’t fit correctly 48%
  4. It was a private purchase 48%
  5. It didn’t look as advertised 47%
  6. I already regretted the purchase 46%
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  1. Being on vacation 52%
  2. Thought of future occasion 52%
  3. Peer pressure from friends 47%
  4. Boredom 44%
  5. Late night out 44%
  6. Insomnia 36%
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  1. Amazon 55%
  2. Walmart 45%
  3. Ebay 37%
  4. Target 37%
  5. Best Buy 36%
  6. Nike 33%
  7. Nordstrom Rack 28%
  8. Adidas 26%
  9. Macys 25%
  10. Sephora 24%
  11. ASOS 23%
  12. Forever 21 23%
  13. Wayfair 23%
  14. Nordstrom 23%
  15. Overstock 22%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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