People often start out budgeting by using the “envelope” method – a tangible object lesson: one envelope of cash for groceries, one for entertainment, etc. – for a week or month. However, with more and more people using credit cards and/or debit cards for their expenses, our purchases no longer make a visible, immediate dent in our wallets. When you spend cash, you have less of it. Spend on a credit card, however, and nothing in your wallet changes to let you know that you have less money.
What if you could make a “credit card” that had a digital display on it, telling you how much you had in each category? So, if you only have $7 left to spend on lunches for the week, you know that you’d better go to Subway rather than Quizno’s. This could be linked either to the credit card account itself, or a standalone device that allowed you to keep track of everything right in your wallet or purse.
CATEGORY: Finance / Technology
IDEATION: April 15, 2009, submitted by Jonathan Mesh.