I recently mentioned the Read Write Web’s attempt to cover many of the financial aspects and technological improvements of the web and our money over the next month and their next installment in the article series is really interesting.
They introduce a new web service called Bundle. This service is actually very similar to what is already available to you in the popular free budget software, Mint.com and some of the other personal finance applications available.
The task itself is trending your spending with others in your neighborhood, age group or income bracket. They take a feature that seems to have been an afterthought in many of the other web applications and turn it into its primary service.
The data used is provided by Citi Gr0up and other data collection agencies and Bundle doesn’t need much info from you to get started as it doesn’t compare your specific data with others, but instead gives you a huge amount of data about the general population and you can drill down to however granular you like on your own and compare that with your known financial situation. You kind of have to know your financial situation to really compare yourself here but that’s where the other web services are important though eventually the service does plan to allow one to enter their own specifics to get a more accurate and detailed comparison.
The service also provides information, or commentary if you will, about the current economic situation and current events related to the financial sector.
My impression of the service is that it is very interesting and eventually could be really useful, but for now it seems more like a novelty site and I wouldn’t spend more than a visit a month or so to see how spending in my age group or neighborhood has changed throughout the month.
After taking the spending trend quiz on their site that asks you a series of questions to classify your spending type, my results were that I am a “Life-a-holic: You’re young. You’re only just starting out. And you want it all (even if you can’t quite afford it yet). We know how it is. So go ahead and enjoy yourself. After all, you’ve got the rest of your life to save” and then it compared me to others in that category. The general trends were Dining out: $41 General Shopping: $270 and Travel: $12. I would say these figures are actually quite accurate for a monthly basis. We spend about $12 in gas per month driving to the in-laws, eat out about once a week at $10-15 a visit and spend about $200 on groceries per month.
The site itself is very well designed, pleasing to the eye and very easy to use. It has some of the common social aspects such as Facebook connect and it shows any of your Facebook friends and their category when comparing spending types. If you haven’t already, jump on over and check it out. If the site improves in the direction the company has slated for it, it could be very useful in the future. br>
Tags: afterthought, age group, article series, collection agencies, current economic situation, current events, financial aspects, financial sector, financial situation, holic, income bracket, mint, neighborhood, personal finance applications, population, quiz, specifics, technological improvements, web applications, web service