Weird Money: 9 Odd Factoids from Recent Consumer Surveys and Studies

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Ever wonder which alcohol brands are most popular … among consumers who are too young to buy alcohol? Is daylight savings harmless, or does it cost us hundreds of millions of dollars annually? And most pressing of all, which celebrity do you wish was your insurance agent?

Here’s a sampling of factoids from some new consumer studies and surveys, ranging from weird to obvious to just plain ridiculous:

I Don’t Drink Legally. But When I Do Drink, It’s Bud Light
A survey conducted by Boston University researchers and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth asked 1,032 underage youths (ages 13 to 20) to name the brands of alcohol they’d consumed in the previous 30 days. By far, the label named most often was Bud Light, with nearly 30% under-21s admitting to imbibing. Researchers raised concerns about the possibility of alcohol brands being marketed (consciously or unconsciously) to underage drinkers. As many commenters noted, though, the most popularly named brands also tend to simply be cheap and widely available around the country. Stay thirsty my friends—it’s better to be thirsty than drink bad beer.

Do Not Call List = Sometimes OK to Call List
In a Consumer Federation of America survey, 55% of respondents thought that no telemarketers could call households if the numbers had been placed on the Do Not Call (DNC) list. This isn’t the case, however. Companies are allowed to call you with sales pitches if you’ve done business with them recently. The DNC doesn’t put a stop to calls from political organizations and charities either.

(MORE: Turns Out You Won’t Get Rich Hunting Pythons in Florida)

You’re Literally Spending Years on That Phone
The average cellphone owner spends about 90 minutes per day staring at their mobile device for the purposes of texting, browsing, e-mail, gaming, and, oh yeah, talking on the phone. Doing the math, that adds up to a total of about 23 days per year—and 3.9 years in the average lifetime—spent staring at a device.

We’re Not Just Losing an Hour—But Money As Well
When daylight savings causes the U.S. to “spring forward” an hour, it supposedly causes widespread fatigue, and even results in an increase in things like heart attacks and workplace accidents. The SleepBetter.org Lost Hour Economic Index estimates that collectively costs us $433 million annually. Presumably, that’s money well spent considering we all get an extra hour’s sleep every autumn.

If You Like Facebook and BET, You’re Probably Not Saving Money
Are you a spender or a saver? That’s what a Scarborough Research poll asked. Self-identified “spenders” were more likely to spend three or more hours per day on social networking sites, watch certain TV shows (reality TV, dating programs, the BET network), and listen to pop radio stations. Overall, spenders are disproportionally likely to be young—and probably not even in a financial position to really be savers.

(MORE: Is Facebook Losint Its Cool? Some Teens Think So)

Like a Good Neighbor, Oprah Is There?
In an otherwise straightforward Insure.com survey about customer satisfaction with insurance companies, the poll asked participants which celebrity they’d prefer as their insurance agent. Oprah Winfrey was the top answer, with 33% of the vote. Coming in a disturbingly close second: Donald Trump (31%).

Yes, We Need Help Not-Texting While Driving
According to a CarInsurance.com survey, drivers would be willing to do all sorts of things to catch a break on their auto insurance rates. Nearly three-quarters (64%) would be game to have a breathalyzer installed in their cars, 28% would allow the insurance company to limit the car’s speed, and 37% would be cool with a device in the car that automatically disabled cell phones. Interestingly, it’s been reported that the Department of Transportation has been checking out technology that would make cell phones unusable in cars.

We Desire Flexibility in More Ways Than One
Four out of ten workers think a flexible schedule will improve their sex lives, according to a FlexJobs poll.

(MORE: The Real Reasons We Love Some Brand Logos and Hate Others)

Earning Cash & Losing Weight Is Better Than Just Losing Weight
In a Mayo Clinic experiment, dieters who were given cash rewards for losing weight were more likely to drop pounds and keep them off than folks who were trying to lose weight just because it’s healthy. In the study, all participants were asked to lose 4 pounds per month. But those who had a financial incentive—a $20 bonus for success, and $20 taken away for coming up short—lost four times more weight than the control group.

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