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Americans Admit to Impulse Buys


Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514


DENVER—Whether it’s a daily latte, an expensive pair of shoes or an even bigger purchase—say, the new motorcycle you just couldn’t pass up—Americans have a propensity for impulse buying. Eighty percent of American adults say they’ve made impulse purchases in the past year for themselves, others or their home, according to an online survey commissioned by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and conducted by Harris Interactive in August 2010. Many of these purchases result in regret and, unfortunately, wasteful spending. The NEFE-Harris survey found that 66 percent of adults who have made an impulse purchase this year say they later regretted that decision.

Luckily, Americans experiencing buyer’s remorse now have an opportunity for a second chance. All they have to do is confess with a video show-and-tell. The Spendster Second Chance video contest asks entrants to tell us all, “What have you wasted your money on,” and more importantly, “What could you have done with your money had you resisted temptation?” Entrants with the most popular stories will win back some of their hard-earned cash, with awards ranging from $250 to $1,000. “Spendster Second Chance encourages everyone to look at their own—and others’— past purchases with a critical eye,” says Paul Golden, spokesperson for NEFE, the contest’s sponsor. “Clearly, many of us are wasting money on things we don’t really use. Confronting our behavior is the first step to making better spending decisions in the future.

Spendster Second Chance lets us make those confrontations in a humorous way.” Spendster is an online video confessional where Americans can share stories of impulse buys, poor spending habits and purchases they’ve later regretted. The site recognizes that everyone has a junk drawer or garage cluttered full of useless stuff, and it encourages them to calculate what their money could have been worth had they not wasted it away on stuff they didn’t need. It also provides users with helpful resources and articles to help them clear the clutter from their lives and get back on track. “Many of us have slipped up at the mall or a big-box store and suffered a spending hangover. After visiting Spendster and participating in the Spendster Second Chance contest, we hope people will think twice the next time they pull out their wallets on impulse,” says Golden.

About Spendster Second Chance The Spendster Second Chance video contest offers redemption to everyone who has ever bought something they later regretted, or developed a bad spending habit they just can’t break. Contest entrants who submit a video answering the question, “What have you wasted your money on?” will be eligible to win back some of the cash they’ve burned through, ranging from $250 to $1,000. The contest, sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), runs September 30, 2010 to October 28, 2010. Visit to enter and learn more.

About the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®)
NEFE is an independent nonprofit organization committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals. For more information, visit

Harris Interactive Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of NEFE from August 25-27, 2010, among 2,273 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, click here.

About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. For more information, visit

Take Control of Your Spending with These Tips Prioritize. Before you head to the store, make a list and stick to it. You will avoid falling prey to enticing retailer displays and coming home with all sorts of stuff you don’t need.

Return. If you end up buying something you don’t need, return it immediately. If you feel that you are unable to return to the “scene of the crime” without either spending more or exchanging for a lower-priced item, ask a spouse or friend to run the errand for you. Save receipts. Keep all receipts in a designated pocket of your purse or checkbook for easy recovery. Keep the tags on. Resist the urge to rip off the tag on an item after you buy it. It could have a defect you don’t see in the store, or you could decide you don’t like it the next day. Be patient. While shopping, if you see something you like, leave the store for 30 minutes. You might find you don’t want the item as much as you thought. Use cash. Leave your credit cards at home, and shop with cash. That way you know you won’t have enough money to buy extra stuff, even if you are tempted. Find a buddy. Shop with a trusted friend or relative who will tell you “no” if you feel the urge to spend needlessly. Avoid retail therapy. If you have had a bad day, the last thing you should do is go shopping. Find another activity, such as exercise, to make you feel better. For more spending tips, visit