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Consumer Watch: More Americans say they online shop drunk

A new survey finds more Americans have been online shopping under the influence of alcohol. (file)

Have you ever found a surprise package you ordered online, but don't remember doing it? Drinking with friends can be the start of a fun social outing, but end with over spending online. A single occurrence might be a funny story or it lead to serious financial problems.

“Maybe you just buy some designer apparel or some delicious snacks to have around the house, but many people will actually make expensive purchases while they are drunk binge shopping,” says Andrew Schrage with personal finance site Money Crashers.

Shopping on the Internet is so easy now that it can happen even when you are intoxicated. Some serious financial mistakes include buying airfare or even pre-paying for a hotel stay at your dream destination. There are problems you'll face right away, like being unable to pay off credit card. This may cause a dip in your credit score, and higher interest rates should you need a loan for something like a car or a house.

It's an issue so topical, that there are apps that will block websites during certain hours of the day or prevent you from online shopping. These apps include drink pay, app detox, and flipd

“So, if you know you always try to shop on a specific website or store when you are drunk, you can restrict your access to that site using some of these apps,” says Schrage.

Other options include calling your credit card company and setting a cap on how much you can spend per day, month, or even per transaction.

According to a survey by Finder, the average amount of money spent while drunk has more than doubled in the last year, and while all generations did this, millennials did it the most.

If your drinking and spending are getting in the way of how you live your life, you could be struggling with addiction. If this is the case, you should talk to your doctor about treatment.

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