Bundle.com: Compare Spending Patterns With Similar Folks

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I’ve been catching up on my stack of old magazines, and in the process discovering a bunch of new websites. One appropriate site to mention is Bundle.com, which describes itself as the “first money comparison site that lets you see how people just like you spend and save money.” Here’s a promotional video from them which walks you through it:

For example, this is what the households in San Francisco, CA were spending their money on in December 2009:

“House & Home” does not include mortgage or rent, but are things like utilities, home repair and improvements, and phone service. “Health & Home” includes insurance, child care, pet care, and charitable giving. Where does the data come from? Via their FAQ:

With a team of experienced statisticians and data junkies, we’ve compiled, tagged and sorted data from a (still-expanding) collection of sources. Our data comes from the U.S. government, from anonymous and aggregated spending transactions from Citi, and from third party data providers.

Aha, my sneaky Citibank card! This is exactly the kind of data I would think would be recorded and sold from aggregation sites like Mint.com. Now, is it just me, or is there no data available under the “Saving” tab?

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  1. Janet Paskin says:

    Thanks for your post! And it’s not just you — the savings data isn’t there yet, but it’s on its way. See you on Bundle!

  2. One of my biggest gripes about these types of analyses is that they seldom include taxes. With all the debate that has raged about healthcare I couldn’t help but be frustrated by the fact that 10% of my income goes to healthcare and almost 50% to various forms of taxation between federal (FIT, FICA, SS, MC), state (gas, income, sales, professional tax) local (property, sales, personalty). The self employed have to pay double social security and medicare, and small business owners take it in the teeth at every turn. When you essentially have a pass thru business all the business tax essentially comes out of personal income.

    Tax is by far two or three fold my largest expenditure.

  3. Warren says:

    Have you ever seen a stranger selection of categories? For example, “Shopping”? We shop for a lot of things, should they be a category? There’s clothes (well that could be “family”). There’s grocery shopping. (wait, that might be “food and drink”). There’s shopping at Home Depot (wait, that would be “house and home”). Tires for the car? (wait, that could be “getting around”). I guess “shopping” is expenses related to shopping for absolutely wasted stuff. As in “Honey why is $2,000 missing from the checking account”. “Oh, I spent that on… shopping!”.

  4. charles says:

    When i look at my yearly spending summary provided by my mastercard, it summarizes exactly the way you outlined in your blog. I guess it is true that perhaps those data collected do get sold to third parties.

  5. I’m not sure I see the point. Why compare myself with “The Joneses”? There are no people “just like me”.

  6. Are you kidding me? The average household in SF is spending $4650 a month, not including housing? Once you add in housing, that’s between $6,000 – $7,000/mo. That’s equivalent to a 6-figure salary. Is the median household really making 6 figures?

  7. cybergal5184 says:

    Interesting idea but where does the data come from. Some of the categories are just too vague too compare except for the few basics.

  8. Looks like bundle.com tracks only credit card data. What about people who pay in cash, checks, or debit cards?

    Not only that, how much people spend tells me NOTHING about the quality of service or product. One of the WORST suppliers I know with one of the worst reputations in the city where I live has a high bundle score, but no sane person would go there – he gets a lot of business by freebies and “image” crap that means nothing in terms of quality. In fact, he’s been under investigation a couple of times. But there he is on bundle.com – big as you please. Knowing this creep, he’s probably talked everyone into using their credit cards so he can up his rating. There is ALWAYS a way to game any system – bundle included.

    I would trust user reviews a thousand times more than I would ever trust bundle. How much people spend means nothing to me – I want to hear REAL experiences.

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