How Expensive Is Your Drunk Shopping Habit?

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iStock

A night of heavy drinking can lead to more than just nausea and a killer headache the morning afterward. It can also leave you with a credit card bill for some taxidermied alligator head you don't remember buying on Amazon. This is all thanks to tipsy shopping, which, according to a recent survey conducted by the Archstone Recovery Center, may be more expensive than you think.

Drunk Americans may be spending as much as $30 billion annually while shopping online, The Daily Dot reports. A separate survey conducted in February 2018 by the website Finder suggests as many as 46 percent of people have made a purchase while under the influence. Those drunk purchases add up: According to Finder’s research, Americans spend an average of $447.57 per year shopping while buzzed.

Gin is apparently the most dangerous alcohol for your wallet, according to the Archstone Recovery Center. Gin drinkers in Archstone’s survey spent the most on Amazon shopping sprees—an average of $82.40—and they were also likely to splurge on more expensive items (an average of $235.10 for the most expensive purchase). Whiskey drinkers, on the other hand, spend the least amount of money when they’re drunk ($38.84 on average), but they’re right behind gin drinkers in terms of splurging ($204.70 for the priciest Amazon orders).

But who spends more while drunk shopping on Amazon? Women, says Archstone, who spend an average of $45.39 on a drunk shopping spree (men spend an average of $39.87). Men spend more than women on their most expensive splurges, though ($198.27 and $154.81, respectively).

People regret some purchases more than others, Archstone says. Almost 67 percent of people in the survey regretted purchasing cell phones and phone accessories, and 34 percent regretted purchasing books. On the other hand, nobody regretted buying musical instruments, and a full 93 percent said they enjoyed their purchases of pet supplies.

Archstone’s survey wasn’t exactly scientific. According to the center’s methodology report, the study surveyed 1094 people, and the only qualifier for participation was that subjects had to have purchased an item on Amazon while drinking alcohol.

But the results are fascinating, and it’s a good reminder that shopping—like driving, texting, and exercising—is better left for when you’re sober.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

This Is the Ideal Credit Score, According to a Financial Expert

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iStock.com/GCShutter

Even as adults, we still worry about being graded. Instead of test results or GPAs, most of us are preoccupied with our credit scores. Conventional wisdom says that the higher the number, the better. We pay down balances, anguish over late payments, and worry we might not qualify for optimal interest rates on loans.

A good credit score is certainly useful. But according to experts, the difference between "good" and "great" may not have any real, tangible benefits.

Speaking with CNBC Make It, Bankrate chief analyst Greg McBride said that people in pursuit of a "perfect" score are wasting their time. FICO scores, which are calculated from data collected from the major credit bureaus, range from 300 to 850. At 650 or lower, you're going to be perceived as a risky borrower. At 700, you'll qualify for most loans or offers. But 800 or 850? According to McBride, it's a wash.

"Once you're above 760, you're getting the best rates," McBride said. A score of 780, 800, or 820 is not likely to have any dramatic impact on your eligibility or term details, making an obsessive pursuit for a "perfect" score largely one of self-gratification.

So what does 760 or above get you? Typically preferential terms that can save you thousands in interest over time. You could also qualify for larger loan amounts, although lenders will also be looking at your income and expenditures to inform those decisions.

The bottom line: By making payments on time, keeping track of your credit utilizations (typically borrowing no more than 30 percent of your available credit), and accumulating a credit history, you've proven you can manage debt effectively. That's really what lenders care about.

If you've been so diligent with keeping balances low and paying on time that you've achieved 850 without trying, you're in some very rare company. As of April 2018, only 1.5 percent of Americans had a perfect score.  

[h/t CNBC]

The Average Age When People Become Millionaires

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iStock

If you start investing in a retirement plan early in your career, you don’t have to bring home an insanely high salary to become a millionaire—eventually. (Thank you, compound interest.) The average age when bank accounts reach the seven-figure mark is in a person’s late 50s, according to Business Insider and The New York Times.

The average age when women become millionaires is slightly lower than the average age for men, despite the persistent wage gap in the workforce. For women, the average age is 58.5 years old, while for men, the age is 59.3. Or at least that’s the case for people with Fidelity 401(k) retirement plans, according to the investment firm’s research. That means that millionaires are reaching that milestone several years before the usual retirement age of 66 to 67 years old.

Nevertheless, how much money you need to retire comfortably varies based on your current salary, your expenses, and the number of years you’ll be living off your nest egg. Many financial advisers say you should aim for $1 million or more, which will hopefully last you through a 30-year retirement.

Reaching that million-dollar mark may seem like a long shot, but Fidelity has found that more and more of its savings plan customers have become millionaires in recent years. One of the firm’s recent analyses found that 133,000 of its customers had $1 million or more in their accounts in 2017, compared to 89,000 in 2016. (The company oversees 401(k) accounts for around 15 million people, so that’s not exactly a huge portion of its customers, though.) Between 2005 and 2017, the number of women who had $1 million in their retirement accounts doubled.

Fidelity attributes this increase to people putting more money away for retirement than in past decades. On average, the firm’s customers making less than $150,000 a year become millionaires by saving around 22 to 25 percent of their salaries in retirement funds, including employer matches. That may seem like a lot if you aren’t making a six-figure salary, but keep in mind that the earlier you start saving, the more your money grows. Investing just a little money in your 20s is a more effective way to save for retirement than investing a lot of money in your 30s and 40s. So if you want to become a millionaire (and who doesn’t?), now would be a good time to start investing in that 401(k).

[h/t Time]

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