Nearly a fifth admit to shopping online when drunk

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The perils of drinking too much are something Brits are often warned of – but it’s the danger of ‘drink-buying’ that’s giving people a bigger headache, according to new research from Confused.com.

The findings from the leading price comparison website reveal that nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) admit to using their credit cards to splash the cash when intoxicated - whether it be in a bar, club or in cyber space.

In fact, nearly one in five people (19%) have drunkenly shopped online – with one in 10 of these (9%) using their credit card to foot the bill.

Brits admit the most they have spent online when drunk averages at £142, with nearly a quarter (24%) admitting that they have spent between £100-200 when drunk online. And it’s clear that Brits are feeling emboldened by the alcohol they consume as incredibly, almost one in 20 (4%) have spent upwards of £500 online when drunk.

And when it comes to drunken spending, it would seem that Brits become more fashion conscious after a few drinks, with clothes topping the list of drunken purchases (36%), whilst nearly one in five (19%) have bought new shoes.

Other common purchases include DVDs and CDs (23%), whilst some Brits go as far as booking themselves a holiday (18%) or concert tickets (18%). Some even go as far as upgrading their tech with new TVs (6%) and new phones (6%).

Whilst drunk Britons clearly feel adventurous when shopping drunk, the majority of drunk spending takes place on Amazon (53%) whilst people use Dutch courage to bid on eBay (50%).

Five Bizarre Drunken Purchases*:

Ten Lobster Pots

A pie maker from a shopping channel

Diving Equipment

A folding ladder

A washing machine

Yet this drunken spending is not just restricted to cyber-space. Nearly a quarter of people (24%) say they take out a credit card on a night out with them to withdraw more money should they need it – thus worsening their financial hangover as credit cards often charge for withdrawals from an ATM.

And for many, the knowledge that they have a credit card in tow on a night out is clearly burning a hole in their pocket, as nearly one in seven (14%) say they have spent money in bars on their credit card when they didn’t intend to. A further one in six (17%) admit to having bought a round of drinks on their credit card when they couldn’t really afford it.

Nerys Lewis, Head of Credit Cards at Confused.com, said: “More than three quarters of people in the UK have a credit card (76%) but people need to exercise caution when spending. Alcohol can cause people’s inhibitions to disappear but people need to be aware of how their credit card spending when drunk could affect them in the long run.

“Consumers need to be careful that purchases made when drunk don’t cause them financial problems in the future. With the last bank holiday of the summer coming up, Brits might be even more tempted to go out and have a few drinks.

“It’s also worrying to learn that so many people admit to withdrawing cash from an ATM using their credit card. Withdrawing cash this way is often the most expensive way to get cash, as unlike shopping on your credit card, you’ll usually be charged interest from day one, typically at a much higher interest rate than you’ll pay on other purchases.

“Managing a credit limit is vital for consumers to safe-guard against future lending and any decisions made to spend on credit cards when drunk need to made with full thought behind them. Whilst people may wake up the next day and have a good laugh about the purchase they’ve made when drunk, these purchases could cause problems further down the line.”