With British women predicted to spend a total of £3.6billion in the run up to Christmas, a product designer claims to have found a solution to our over-spending?
It is all too easy to lose track of how much you are spending at Christmas, and women seem to be the worst culprits with one in five buying a new outfit for every event during the festive period.
But product designer John Kestner from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab may have a solution to our over-spending – a set of smart wallets that shrink in accordance with your bank balance.
‘We have trouble controlling our consumer impulses, and there’s a gap between our decision and the consequences,’ says Kestner.
The three wallets are currently at the prototype stage and work via a Bluetooth connection to the individual’s mobile phone, which then connects to the Internet and their personal banking information, constantly updating the status of their account. The idea is that they act like a spending reminder.
The designs include the Mother Bear wallet, which has a hinge that gets harder to open the lower the bank balance. Once the owner has nothing in their account, the hinge simply keeps the wallet shut.
Alternatively, there is the Peacock purse with its mechanical arm that enables the wallet to inflate and deflate depending on how much money is available.
Or there’s the Bumblebee wallet with its tiny vibrating motor inside that buzzes when a transaction takes place. The bigger the transaction, the longer the buzz providing a physical reminder of how much you’re spending.
British women are likely to spend a staggering £3.5billion this month on clothes, shoes and accessories with an extra £206.84 on hair, make-up and beauty treatments.
Inventor Kestner is currently working on a slimmed-down version of the wallet that’s credit card shaped. ‘We want to price them as reasonbly as possible,’ he says. ‘It would be rather ironic if we charged a fortune for something that is supposed to save you money.’