Are you ‘doom spending’?

Dec 1, 2023, 4:00 PM

are you doom spending?...

Miranda Lewin shops at Pib’s Exchange in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 15, 2022. What is doom spending? A KSL NewsRadio producer describes her experience with — and motivation for — reckless buying. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — You have likely heard of “doom scrolling” — mindlessly, endlessly tumbling through your social media trance — but you may not have heard of “doom spending,” for relief, for a moment of peace.

According to a study, two-thirds of Americans say the inflationary state of the economy now makes them anxious about their finances. Gen Z and millennials are most likely to report feelings of financial anxiety (71%).

More than a quarter of Americans (27%) “doom spend” to cope with stress, according to the study conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Intuit Credit Karma.

As reported by CNBC, three in four Gen Zers say they would rather live in the moment than save for that rainy day.

Reprieve for a doom spender 

Dave and Debbie speak with KSL NewsRadio Producer Alexie Zollinger about her experience with doom spending.

Living paycheck to paycheck, Zollinger said said she works two jobs, and for all of last month, she worked seven days a week. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, doom spending gives her a moment of release from stress, she explained.

“I’m really tired. I’m working all the time. I don’t know what I’m working for. I’m not gonna be able to buy a house. I can’t afford to take on debt to go to college to pursue more education. It does feel a little bit hopeless,” Zollinger said.

Zollinger spend her money on “small things.”

“I have a problem with thrift shopping because it’s cheap; it’s affordable. And it fulfills that little, tiny, little desire for some sort of reward for all of your hard work,” she said. 

She added that saving money is unrealistic given the fact that the median price for a home in Utah is over $500,000.

“Housing is almost unreal. It’s like an impossible vision for people my age,” Zollinger said.

But she said she didn’t want Gen Zers to be linked to doom spending. It’s reckless, impulsive spending, regardless of age, she stressed. 

“To me, it’s the result of trying to fill this hopeless void that you have about your future. And I think the problem should be addressing that before shaming anybody for doom spending,” Zollinger said.

Related: ‘Something has to give’: Utah housing prices are still too high



Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Are you ‘doom spending’?