Image via Bundle
Ahhh, keeping up with the Joneses - spending more so you can match up with your neighbors. But does it always have to be that way? When it comes to smart metering, experts have shown that knowing how much electricity your neighbors are using can spark up the competitive spirit, and you're likely to reduce your energy consumption just to "beat" your neighbor. But what about when it comes to buying stuff - if we knew just what our neighbors were doing, might we be encouraged to spend less than them? Gizmodo points us to Bundle, an interactive website that tells you what your neighbors are spending their hard earned dollars on. Could this put a twist on the old saying and turn it into, "Keeping below the Joneses"? Using Bundle, you can drill down into certain demographics, including age range, income, family status, and the month and category. It's not ultra specific but it gives you a really good idea of what's happening in your city for your demographic. And once you have a the big picture, you can drill down into each category. Here's my demographic:
Turns out, my actual spending habits don't look remotely like those of my demographic. Swap the numbers for "shopping" and "household" and we'll be a little closer, at least percentage-wise. But what happens when I drill down?
And even further...
Now we're getting into some interesting demographic information. I can see what percentile I'm in, and check out at what typical locations my cohorts are spending their money. Again - not really accurate or reflecting my specific demographic, but interesting results for the umbrella demographic.
Is this good for anything more than feeling momentarily greener than your neighbors or spying on your cohorts' habits? It could be... For someone just getting in to green and learning how to live frugally, it could be a useful tool for seeing the bigger picture and how to remove one's self from mainstream consumerism, one area at a time. You can start out by taking Bundle's quiz on what type of spender you are, then you can see how you rank among similar spenders.
Plus, every time you answer a question, you get an interesting fact on how Americans spend their money and time:
Soon, Bundle will also have information about how your demographic is doing on savings.
Follow Jaymi on Twitter: @JaymiHeimbuch
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