Shopping When You’re Emotional Is Bad For Your Bank Balance


Going shopping when you’re in a bad mood is really bad for your bank balance, according to new research.

A recent poll of around 2,000 adults found that heading to the high street can be counterproductive if you’re making purchases in a bad mood.

The study states the typical Brit will spend £104 more per month in shops if they are sad or stressed.


This flies in the face of conventional wisdom of retail therapy helping us when we’re feeling a little bit low.

About 46 per cent of Brits have found themselves under an uncontrollable urge to splurge after feeling the effects of a stressful event in their lives.

One Brit in six has gone for some retail therapy after a tough day at the office and one in 12 have attempted to forget about relationship problems through spending in the shops.

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Britons are most likely to part with their cash for treat foods, clothes and takeaways when they’re feeling less than happy, according to the research conducted by

Spokesperson Pip Heywood said:

Everyone has their reasons for buying that handbag, or booking that weekend away in the country, but they probably don’t realise that a situation three hours earlier, unrelated to the purchase, prompted them to buy it.

One in 10 surveyed said they’d buy themselves a pair of shoes if they were feeling a bit blue.


And nearly one fifth of adults who took part in the study by said stress will send them to the shops.

One in three people surveyed said they’d acquire a credit card if they were regularly spending over their usual budget.

Over half said if they’d paid cash it would have made them think twice about their purchase, and they might not have purchased it at all.

One in five Brits admit they don’t know just how much money they spend on those impulse buys, blowing an average of £1,250 a year on non-essential shopping.


People go over their monthly budget an average of three times a year, with impulse purchases proving just too appealing.

Pip added:

We’ve helped around 7 million families save close to £2bn on their household bills in the past 12 months, so we have a natural interest when it comes to how consumers manage and spend their money.

Conducting this study with MindLab has been fascinating – it’s given us an opportunity to explore the psychology of spending and how a person’s mood affects their propensity to spend.

To help the nation’s spenders understand their shopping habits, MoneySuperMarket has created the BMI Calculator so Brits can see how they stock up on the ‘Buying Mood Index’ and so they can identify just what makes them want to spend.