Americans Are Spending 38% Less Because of Inflation

Impulse buying is down in 2023, according to an annual survey commissioned by Slickdeals, the only shopping platform powered by millions of avid shoppers sharing and discovering the most up-to-date online deals and coupons.

Decrease in Impulse Spending

Commissioned by Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll, the study of 2,000 American impulse shoppers found that 38% have decreased the amount of impulse spending this year, as compared to 14% in 2022 and 16% in 2021.

The number of impulse purchases per month also saw a dip this year, with the average respondent making just six impulse purchases per month. That number is down from twelve purchases per month both in 2022 and 2021 and nine per month in 2020.

Respondents are also spending less overall on impulse purchases. The average person is only spending $151 impulsively per month, which is down from previous years ($314 in 2022, $276 in 2021, and $183 in 2020).

Seven in ten have saved money as a result of holding back on their impulse shopping habits, an increase from what was reported in previous studies (58% in 2022).


Seventy-seven percent have been conscientious about their budget this year because of inflation — 39% said they spend more impulsively on necessities than luxuries (19%). The most common impulse shopping categories this year are clothing (55%), food and groceries (50%), and household items (42%).

A third (35%) said some of their impulse buys were done to escape the feeling of FOMO, a steep decrease from 2022, where 67% made purchases to be part of the “in” crowd.

“With shoppers stating that they are more likely to make impulse purchases on necessities than luxuries while simultaneously reporting a decrease in impulse spending, we may be seeing a shift in how consumers define an impulse purchase,” said Vitaly Pecharsky, head of deals for Slickdeals. “Shopping opportunistically when there’s a sale on something you need like toilet paper or pantry snacks can ultimately save you money in the long run.”

Impulsive Purchases

Results found that 36% of respondents admit most of their purchases were impulsive, compared to 73% in 2022.

And while 48% said they shop the most from their phones (up from 33% in 2022), only 43% are more likely to spend impulsively while shopping from bed — a sharp decrease from 71% last year.

While 32% in 2022 reported they would only make impulsive purchases if an item was on sale, 58% this year would make the same claim. Over half (53%) always or often look for deals or coupons before making a purchase.

Pecharsky added, “Budgeting for impulse purchases may seem counterintuitive, but by shopping when there’s a sale on something that you need, you are spending less on items that you likely would have purchased anyway. By tapping into a community like the one at Slickdeals, shoppers can ensure they’re getting the best products at the best prices.” 

9 Common Impulse Buys of 2023

Clothing – 55%
Food/groceries – 50%
Household items – 42%
Shoes – 32%
Takeout – 23%
Books – 21%
Toys – 20%
Technology – 19%
Coffee – 18%

9 Brain Training Strategies To Overcome Impulsive Spending

Impulsive spending is a big problem for many people. 

As a result, many find it hard to avoid spending money in the face of endless advertisements and targeted marketing.

Fortunately, many frugal people have revealed their favorite tips that keep them locked in and money-conscious. These tips will help you keep a frugal mindset; trust us. It’s not as impossible as it seems!

Turn Being Frugal Into a Game

Many people who have embraced the frugal mindset suggest making your whole way of thinking into something you can win. For example, if you’re competitive, saving money could be easy if you regard it as a game. “This! Make it a game!” one person excitedly says.

Some apps help. Or set challenges for yourself- maybe eat out only once a month, cook all those bags of dried beans and rice in your pantry before buying more. Tracking your progress can motivate you to “win” at being frugal.

Do a Quick Retirement Calculation

Sometimes putting numbers to paper and doing some quick math is all it takes to make you realize how frugal you must be. One person suggests busting out the calculator. First, determine how much you will have in retirement as you currently save. Then calculate what it would be if you were relatively frugal.

“If you’re 30, you have roughly 35 years until retirement. Assuming historical returns, saving $1 now will give you around $32 at retirement. A single $4 drink deprives future you of $128.

One workweek of drinks is $640. One month of drinks is around $2500.” This person lauds this strategy, declaring that skipping a $50 dinner gives you $1600 in retirement.

Keep Everything in Perspective

Asking yourself, “What is my goal?” goes a long way in realizing your own frugality, according to one man. Keeping everything in perspective while critically examining your financial situation is essential. Also, remember to live frugally, not miserably. After all, there’s a thin line between saving money using frugal methods and driving yourself crazy.

Create Budgets

It doesn’t matter if you want to live a more frugal life or have excess wealth – most people believe in setting budgets for your spending. I have a budget for every type of spending you can think of and challenge myself to get the most out of that budget as possible,” one man reveals.

Use Your Childhood as Motivation

Don’t be ashamed if you grew up in a household that penny-pinched as much as possible. Instead, use that as motivation to be more frugal with your everyday spending. One thrifty spender confesses that growing up poor taught him to be frugal, “At this point, I’m no longer poor, but it’s a habit.

Read Books

Self-help books come in all shapes in sizes. From thinking critically to saving money, there are books to help improve any area of your life. One book, in particular, has been praised by many: The Art of Frugal Hedonism. “I found it on my local library phone app and read it there.”

Make Short-Term Goals

Much like setting budgets, making easily-obtainable short-term goals is a simple and practical way to increase your frugality. Have a goal you are working towards; one notes, “I have an emergency fund goal I’m going to meet soon (knock on wood), and that feels awesome.

Other times being frugal has helped them save for a trip and pay off student loans. Before you know it, you’ll live a more frugal life and won’t be as susceptible to spending money on things you don’t need.

Create Spreadsheets To Assess Your Financial Situation

Don’t confuse spreadsheets with budgets – sometimes, simply tracking your spending on a spreadsheet can help you see the “big picture” of your financial situation. One person in particular lauds this strategy.

Track your spending on a spreadsheet, with each line breaking into a separate category. “You will see some patterns developing and question if it’s worth it at the end of each month when all your money is gone,” he advises. “It’s eye-opening for me.”

Set up Automatic Transfers

Trust us: it’s easier to be frugal when a computer automatically does it. Setting up automatic transfers to your savings account with every paycheck can (literally) pay dividends! Other frugal savers agree with us. “I have automatic deposits set up for the day after my paycheck hits my bank account,” one woman says.

Some go to her IRA, some to her high-yield savings emergency fund, some to her investment account, and some to their joint household account for our bills/necessary expenses. “I only leave myself a few hundred dollars of ‘spendable’ money for discretionary purposes in my checking account.” 

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.