iBag 2 launches to help curb impulsive spending | finder.com

Press Release

For immediate release

  • Michelle Hutchison
  • Global Head of Communications & Money Expert
  • +61 403 192 994
  • Skype: michelle.hutchison.finder
  • Michelle@finder.com

finder.com launches iBag2 to help curb impulsive spending

  • iBag2 uses technology and custom-robotics to deter shoppers from impulsive spending
  • Created in response to America’s staggering $960.8 billion credit card debt
  • New research finds majority (64%) of American credit cardholders make unplanned purchases

August 23, 2016, New York – Personal finance website finder.com today launched the iBag2, America’s first programmable handbag designed to help monitor and curb impulsive spending and avoid buyer’s remorse.

The iBag2 (www.finder.com/ibag) features physical cues to remind shoppers of their spending goals whenever they reach for their wallet and it self-locks when they are at their most vulnerable. Powered by an Arduino Uno microprocessor, the handbag features six distinct components:

– A timer connected to electromagnets that lock the bag according to your most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day;

– An RFID system connected to LED lights and vibration motors, which light up blue and vibrate each time your wallet is taken out as a discreet reminder of spending goals;

– GPS tracking that warns you via amber lights and vibration when you are nearing one of your pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones;

– The locking function turns on if you proceed to enter your danger zone;

– A reminder every two hours via yellow lights and vibration that it’s time to reapply sunscreen; and

– A bluetooth tracker Tile that will alert your phone through an app if the bag is a certain distance away from you.

The bag also comes with a fast charging power bank, battery capacity of 10,000 mAh, with two USB ports (one to power the bag and one to charge your smartphone or any USB-chargeable device. It also includes a backup 9V battery attached to the microprocessor.

The robotics for the iBag2 were custom-designed by a female-led team of engineers from robotics firm Colmac Robotics Ltd in Ireland, and the bag’s couture design is by renowned New York-based fashion designer Geova Rodriguez.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 7.23.17 AMScreen Shot 2016-08-19 at 7.23.22 AM

Images left to right: the bag’s two exterior designs; Arduino Uno microprocessor attached to GPS, which are both hidden inside the bag’s base.

finder.com created the iBag2 in response to alarming signs that credit card spending is out of control. The total U.S. credit card debt adds up to a staggering $960.8 billion (as of June 2016. Source: U.S. Federal Reserve). There are approximately 247.8 million cardholders in the U.S., with 435,6 million cards in circulation. That’s 1.76 cards per cardholder on average (source: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax). Based on current growth rates, finder.com expects the total number of credit card accounts to be back at pre-financial crisis levels (496.1 million cards in 2008) by the second quarter of 2018.

A finder.com commissioned survey of 6,838 American adults conducted in May 2016 by global research provider pureprofile found the majority of American credit cardholders – 64% or a total of 158.6 million people – make unplanned purchases with their credit cards each month. On average, they make over seven (7.35) per month. Millennials (aged 18-34) are the biggest impulse spenders, making 14 unplanned purchases per month, compared to eight for Generation X (aged 35-54) and four for Baby Boomers (55+).

Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com, said the survey results highlighted the need for some credit cardholders to take extreme measures to curb their spending.

“This research clearly shows that some American cardholders are out of control and would need an extreme solution like the iBag2 to help curb their spending. In fact, one in five American cardholders (20%) admit their credit card spending has led to an argument with their partner or a family member, and 21% make secret credit card purchases that their partner doesn’t know about.

“With the total number of credit card accounts in the U.S. creeping back towards pre-financial crisis levels, it’s vital Americans understand the financial impact of overspending and not paying off their debt. For example, minimum repayments of 2 percent on a $2,000 credit card debt with average 17.8 percent interest will take over 18 years to pay off and an extra $3,552 in interest.

State by state:

According to the finder.com study, New Yorkers are the worst spenders, making the highest number of impulsive purchases than any other state, of 13 per month. This was followed by credit cardholders in New Mexico and Texas, both with an average of 11 impulsive purchases per month. Cardholders in Georgia and Iowa make 10 impulsive purchases on average per month, while California, Washington and Mississippi cardholders make an average of nine impulse buys per month.

The least impulsive shoppers were from Arkansas, Connecticut, Minnesota and Oregon, where cardholders make on average three impulsive purchases per month.

How income affects impulsive spending

Lower income earners are less likely to make unplanned purchases while high income earners are likely to make more. For example, those who earn up to $10,000 per year make on average four unplanned purchases per month, while those earning between $175,000 and $200,000 make an average of 18 unplanned purchases per month.

Of those who make unplanned purchases, women make on average 10 per month while men make an average of 14.

The most likely reason why cardholders make more unplanned purchases is because they don’t set themselves a budget.

Most common unplanned purchases

Going out/entertainment is the most common unplanned purchase, with over one in five Americans (22%) admitting this is their spending weakness. It’s followed closely by unexpected bills (21%), emergency expenses (19%), shopping sprees (15%), going over their budget (13%), and other unplanned purchases (10%) such as gifts, medical expenses, home or car repairs/maintenance, gas for the car, food/groceries and takeaway meals.

While going out/entertainment is the most common unplanned purchases for Millennials and Gen X, for Baby Boomers it is emergency expenses.

Credit card spending impacting relationships

One in five (20%) American cardholders admit that their credit card spending has led to an argument with their partner or a family member. Millennials are more likely to have an argument about their credit card spending than any other age group (37%), while Baby Boomers are the least likely.

Comparing states, those in Colorado were most likely to have an argument with their partner about their spending, followed by New Yorkers, Nebraskans and Texans. Those earning higher incomes are also more likely to have arguments about their spending.

Interestingly, over one in five (21%) make secret credit card purchases that their partner doesn’t know about. Millennials were the worst offenders, with 38% admitting they make secret credit card purchases their loved one doesn’t know about.

New Yorkers are the most untrustworthy, as they are more likely to hide their credit card purchases from their partner than cardholders in any other state. They are followed by cardholders in Colorado, Georgia and Arkansas.

Lower income earners are the least likely to hide credit card purchases while high earners are the most likely.

Spending triggers

Americans are most likely to make credit card purchases during a sale (41%), followed by other reasons (30%) including for large purchases, emergencies, to rack up airline miles or cash back offers, or for everyday purchases due to not using cash.

One in 10 (10%) are most likely to make purchases just before payday. Twelve percent make purchases when they are happy and only 6% use their cards when they are sad. Millennials are the biggest group of emotional spenders, as they are most likely to get a retail therapy fix when they are upset, and also when happy.

Two percent make purchases when they have had a few drinks, with Gen X more likely to do this than any other age group.

Mrs Hutchison says the iBag2 was created to draw attention to the serious issue about credit card debt and consumerism in America.

“We created the iBag2 because we are committed to helping people make smarter decision about their money. The iBag2 makes it easier for people to manage their personal finances through smart technology, whether it’s by enabling them to easily compare different financial products online or innovating to create out-of-the-box solutions like the iBag2.

“It features in-built technology to make shoppers aware of their spending urges in the moment and can even physically deter them from accessing their wallets when they are at their most vulnerable by self-locking.

“While the iBag2 will help you be more conscious of your spending, it’s only a short-term solution. Cardholders need to understand how credit cards work, what features they have and how they differ between cards so they can find a card to suit their needs.

“Cardholders also need to keep track of their spending by setting themselves a budget and checking their statements. To help pay off a credit card debt, it’s a good idea to consider balance transfer cards where you can transfer debt to another card with a much lower rate for a certain period of time.”

The iBag2 will retail for $5,000 and is an upgrade of the original iBag launched in Australia in 2014 with a higher powered microprocessor and added features including couture design, vibration motors, electromagnets, sunscreen reminder and bluetooth tracker.

Register your interest to order the iBag2 or for further information including videos and images: www.finder.com/ibag

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Who is finder.com?

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps Americans compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the U.S. in September 2015 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia’s most visited personal finance website.

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For further information

  • Michelle Hutchison
  • Global Head of Communications & Money Expert
  • +61 403 192 994
  • Skype: michelle.hutchison.finder
  • Michelle@finder.com

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com:

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the U.S. in September 2015 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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