Posted by: Jie-Eun | March 19, 2009

[Position Paper] Pervasive Shopping, Concrete Budgeting


Coco Krumme []
eRationality group and Center for Future Banking, MIT Media Lab, USA

New forms of commerce –online and offline—offer new temptations for consumers, as well as new avenues to study consumer behavior. Today, it’s possible to buy almost anything in almost real-time: as decision-making becomes more complicated, I am interested in tools that help people make sound decisions about finances and set clear goals for purchasing.

Concrete Budgeting (CB) is an interactive web and mobile tool to make complex financial decisions, in a word, concrete. Existing budgeting tools present only monthly expenses to the user; here, we are help users make smart tradeoffs between today and the future. CB consists of a web interface and mobile application. Both link directly to transaction data to visualize monthly spending by category. The main innovation of CB is a long-term view that allows the user to set clear goals, to make tradeoffs between goals in different time periods, and to experiment with different scenarios of deferred spending and saving.


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