This Purse Physically Stops People From Spending
Women who find themselves racking up credit card bills can now find recourse in their purses. The iBag from Australian company Credit Card Finder can track a person’s spending habits and force them to change.
The idea for the iBag came out of some basic credit card statistics: Two-thirds of credit card holders charge more than $500 to their cards every month, and a quarter of those people don’t pay their balances in full each month. That means they’re carrying credit card debt from month to month, often because of avoidable overspending and impulse purchases.
So Credit Card Finder created a programmable, electronic handbag to help people curb their credit card spending. A GPS tracker can set of LED lights to warn you when you’re near a store in which you tend to overspend. If you decide to shop anyway, the bag notifies a designated friend that you’re spending money.
And if those incentives don’t deter you enough, the purse can actually lock itself during certain hours when you’re most likely to shop, preventing you from getting to your card at all.
The company decided to make a purse marketed toward women rather than a gender-neutral device like a wallet because women tend to have more credit card problems. As the video explains, women are more likely to overspend and more likely to carry balances over from month to month.
However, if there is demand for it, a male version could be developed in the future.
The company notes that using the bag is an “extreme measure” and that the product is not for everyone.
And it does have some glaring flaws. Time reports the bags are selling for $173, a nice chunk of change for people looking to curb their spending and cut down their credit card debt. The bags are also on the plain side and only come in black.
The tactics to curb spending aren’t foolproof, either. The LED lights could serve as a reminder that your favorite store is close, rather than serving as a warning to stay away. The text messaging system could get very annoying for your friend, and it doesn’t seem to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary purchases. There’s also no information about overriding the lockout system in case of emergency or in case you just want to grab some gum without going for your credit card.