Americans spend 2.5 hours per day "Dreamscrolling" — and say it motivates them to reach financial goals

Americans spend 2.5 hours per day "Dreamscrolling" — and say it motivates them to reach financial goals

Over half say looking at dream purchases makes it easier to be smart with money

Greenwood Village, COLO – May 16, 2024 – The average American spends nearly two and a half hours a day "Dreamscrolling" – looking at dream purchases or things they’d like to one day own, according to new research from Empower , a leader in financial planning, investing, and advice. Time is Money to many people, and a majority (71%) say dreamscrolling is time well spent, as the habit motivates them to reach their financial goals.

In a year, that amounts to about 873 hours or nearly 36 days spent scrolling on the phone or computer. Gen Zers spend the most time dreamscrolling at just over three hours per day, while Boomers spend the least, clocking in around an hour. Half of respondents say they dreamscroll while on the job, and of those, 1 in 5 admit to spending between three and four hours a day multitasking while at work.

Americans say looking at dream purchases makes it easier for them to be smart with their money (56%), avoid making unplanned purchases or going into debt (30%) and better plan to achieve their financial goals (25%). Nearly 7 in 10 see dreamscrolling as an investment in themselves (69%) and an outlet for them to envision what they want out of life (67%). Forty-two percent spend time picturing their ideal retirement, such as age, location and monthly expenses.

More than half (56%) currently have things left open in tabs and windows or saved in shopping carts that they’d like to purchase or own in the future. For those respondents, they estimate it would cost about $86,593.40 to afford everything they currently have saved.

Other findings:

  • Stacking up: 34% say they’ve purchased less things on their dream list than they should at their age, with Millennials feeling the most behind (39%). Top economic factors that may be holding some Americans back include rising prices (54%), inability to save money (29%) and growing debt (21%).
  • Economy effect: More than 2 in 5 respondents say they spend more time dreamscrolling when the economy is uncertain (43%).
  • Dreaming big: Half of Americans say they are spending more time dreamscrolling now than they did in previous years (45%) and plan on buying something on their dream list before this year wraps (56%).  
  • Scroll on: 1 in 5 respondents look at homes or apartments (21%), and a quarter search for vacation destinations (25%), beauty or self-care products (23%) and items for their pets (19%). Others spend time looking at clothing, shoes and accessories (49%); gadgets and technology (30%); and home décor or furniture (29%).
  • Making it: While 65% are optimistic they’ll be able to one day to buy everything on their list, nearly 1 in 4 say they don’t think they’ll ever be able to afford the majority of items (23%).

More than half (51%) say owning their dream purchases would make them feel more financially secure, which may be why close to half say working with a financial professional would help them reach their goals (47%).

Visit The Currency™ to read Empower’s full research report, "Dreamscrolling.”


The Empower “Dreamscrolling” study is based on online survey responses from 2,000 Americans ages 18+ from March 28-31, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Empower, a leader in financial planning, investing, and advice, is dedicated to creating financial freedom through people and technology. It administers approximately $1.6 trillion in assets for more than 18.6 million individuals1 and is recognized as the nation's second-largest retirement services provider2 by total participants. Connect with us on, and subscribe to The Currency™ for the latest money news and views shaping how we live, work and play. 

Media contacts:

Rebecca Rickert 

Katelyn Kwiatkowski

1 As of May 2, 2024. Assets under Administration (AUA) refers to the assets administered by Empower. AUA does not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company.

2 Pensions & Investments DC Recordkeeper Survey (2023). Ranking measured by total number of participants as of September 2022.

Empower refers to the products and services offered by Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal, or tax recommendations or advice.

The information contained herein is being provided for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities. All visuals are illustrative only.

“EMPOWER” and all associated logos and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America.

 © 2024 Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. All rights reserved.


Get the scoop on your money.

Stay current on planning, saving, and investing for life.