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Men spend more on impulse buys than women. Here are 6 ways to break the habit

Men spend more on impulse buys than women. Here are 6 ways to break the habit

Women may get the rap as frivolous spenders, but it turns out that men are just as likely as women to make impulse buys—and spend more when they do.

A new CNBC and Acorns study finds that while nearly 90% of both men and women sometimes make impulse purchases, nearly a quarter of men said they shelled out more than $100 the last time they made an impulse buy, compared to just 16% of women.

The Invest in You Spending Survey was conducted by CNBC and Acorns in partnership with SurveyMonkey from June 17–20. A diverse group of 2,803 Americans were polled across the country, ranging in ages from 18 to over 65. Of the total, 1,320 were men and 1,498 had a college or graduate degree.

“The stereotype of women as impulsive in their purchase decisions is an inaccurate one,” says Ross Steinman, co-chair and professor in the psychology department at Widener University. “Impulse purchases are a result of consumer personality characteristics as well as a strategic placement of enticing stimuli in the shopping environment.”

Whether it’s a clothing item on sale, extra candy at the checkout counter or a round of drinks for friends at a bar, everyone has succumbed to the impulse purchase at one point or another.

Source: Invest in You Spending Survey

A small, occasional splurge is OK, but when impulse purchases turn into mindless spending, or when the impulse purchases are big-ticket items derailing your financial security, it’s important to evaluate what’s driving that behavior. Often, impulse purchases are a form of emotional spending, experts say.

The emotions associated with different people’s spending vary. One person might spend to cheer themselves up after a bad day, while another might spend to celebrate a milestone. Regardless of the reasons for spending — or the gender of the spender — it’s possible to curb the habit.