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Overspending? File that Under #MotherProblems

Mothers spend thousands of dollars each year on unexpected shopping items

July 11, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce | Demographics

When mothers go shopping, they’re likely leaving the store with items they didn’t intend to purchase, based on a June 2014 study conducted by YouGov for Cartonomy. According to US mother internet users, overspending on extra, unplanned items was the most frustrating part of shopping for or with their family, cited by 51% of respondents.

Leading Frustrations When Shopping for/with Family Members According to US Mother Internet Users, June 2014 (% of respondents)

Overlooking discounts—due to family members rushing them or children throwing tantrums—also frustrated this deal-seeking group, though not as much. Mothers were less irritated by bad behavior from their children or handling multiple requests for items—which could often lead to conflict or disorganization—from family members. In fact, mothers weren’t likely to buy unnecessary items as a result of their kids pestering them: 47% said they didn’t do so often, and 15% never did.

According to the research, mothers were spending thousands of dollars each year on unplanned items—$2,600, on average, for those who went shopping for their families weekly.

Amount that US Mother Internet Users Spend on Unplanned Items When Shopping for/with Family Members, June 2014 (% of total)

Mothers were most likely to spend between $16 and $30 on unplanned purchases (29% of respondents), though nearly one-quarter admitted to overspending by $31 to $50. Just 2% overspent by less than $5, and only 1% said they never bought unplanned items.

Despite all of this overspending, mothers appear to be turning to mobile while in-store to save some money—more so than women without children. December 2013 polling by Allrecipes.com found that the majority (55.0%) of US mother smartphone users used their phones to find coupons while grocery shopping, compared with 38.3% of nonmother shoppers. In addition, half of mothers said they compared prices on their smartphones as they grocery shopped, while 38.3% of nonmothers did the same. Using digital coupons was also more popular among those with kids, with 37.2% saying they used them, compared with 32.1% of respondents who did not have children.

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