Does the weather affect our spending patterns?

Ever wondered why on some days you spend a lot but other days you don’t? Well, this may, in fact, be a result of the weather.  According to some sources, the weather has the biggest influence on consumer spending habits after the economy.

Recent studies have found that ”abnormal sunshine” could lead consumers to shop for more expensive items that they may not necessarily need. This is called the ”sunshine effect” and it has increased the consumer’s annual median credit card spending significantly. A professor of finance at Georgetown University explained that ”We tend to become more upbeat or the mood is brighter when the weather is good and we tend to buy things we wouldn’t have bought, like better perfume or a better jacket.”

Some additional studies have even made the connection from the weather affecting mood, towards the mood-affecting spending patterns. This is because of something known as a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which means that some people feel negative when the weather is rainy, windy or cold, compared to feeling positive when the weather is sunny. This can affect our spending patterns, as consumers are more inclined to not want to stay at home when the weather is nice outside. Not only does the weather get people out more, but additionally seems to make them feel more comfortable at the idea of spending more.

Additional data shows the following:

  • Above average sunshine leads towards an almost 1% increase in card spending daily, in comparison to days with poor weather.
  • It is not the number of items people buy that is affected by the weather, but the amount that they spend. This has a limitation though. Consumers are more likely to buy more expensive clothing, but this does not mean that they are likely to buy an expensive car.
  • The spending habits of young adults are not affected, meaning that they don’t shop more or buy more expensive products when there is a change in the weather.
  • This effect from the sun is strongest on consumers with higher incomes, married people, women and with people who live in less sunny areas than average.

 

Make sure that when the sun is out next, you take cash out and that you are okay with spending, just in case!

 

To read more on Research: On sunny days, put the credit cards away! Click here.

To read more on How Weather Affects Consumer Behaviour and Purchase Decisions. Click here.

To read more on The Effect of Sunlight on Consumer Behaviour. Click here.

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