What Time of Day Are You More Likely to Spend Money?

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spend money

It was 3 o’clock in the morning. It was the third or fourth time I’d been up with my babies that night. I was tired, exhausted, and completely confused as to why my somewhat decent sleepers decided to conspire together to keep me up all night long.

I did what any sleep deprived parent would do. I got on my iPhone, went to my Amazon app, and ordered two swaddles I’d been eying. Surely they would be the solution to this sleep regression.

The next morning, feeling hungover from the epic party the night before, my husband turned to me and said, “Did you spend money on stuff online at 3 o’clock this morning?” My reply was, “Yes but for a good cause of course.” I mean, I always spend money for a good cause! 🙂

I had to laugh later. I barely remember completing the transaction. I’m surprised the package made it to my house and not to my old address in Louisiana.

The experience made me wonder if anyone else is more likely to spend money at a certain time of the day or night. In the middle of the night, I somehow don’t have my typical line up of questions to ask myself like do you need this or will this break your budget.

Somehow all bets are off at the crack of dawn and I become she-who-will-buy-anything. My husband is just lucky I’m choosing to spend money on baby stuff and not Jimmy Choo stilettos (as if I have a reason to wear those anyway!)

When Shoppers are Most Likely to Spend Money


Here are types of shoppers based on my very official observations:

1. 5:00 PM Shoppers – These are people who get off of work and head straight to Marshalls or the mall. They were counting the minutes until they could leave, and burnt out from a long hard day, they want a little pick me up. They stop at Starbucks the second they hit the stores and go home with one or two new tops.

2. Weekend Shoppers – These are people who, unable to think of anything else to do on the weekend, decide to go and browse that new shopping center that just went up. They have no idea what they are going for but decide to buy a few things anyway. In fact, most weekends you can find them getting in some sort of shopping.

3. 12:00 PM Shoppers – These are lunch break shoppers. They’ve secretly been scouring the recent Gap sale online for the hour prior at work. They’re worried someone else will score their favorite type of jeans for cheap so they sneak out of work a few minutes early and rush over to get the goods. They ran out of time for lunch but luckily they keep a lot of Snickers bars in their desk.

4. Middle of the Night Shoppers – This is yours truly, as evidenced above. We are people who get stuck in the rabbit hole of the Internet and decide to finally buy something we’ve been wanting for a while. Warning: this type of shopping might or might not come with built in buyers remorse.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, those new swaddles really did help my growing babies sleep better so not all was lost! 🙂


What time do you like to shop? What type of shopper are you? When do you find yourself most likely to spend money? What’s your weakness when it comes to breaking your budget?

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families. Check out her award winning blog,


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