What if ... you could search through every purchase you ever made?

I thought I might challenge your imaginations and ask a few “what if” questions here, on Financial Wellness related ideas, to see what we imagine our future could be like.


What if you suddenly had access to a detailed list of everything you had ever bought? What would you like to find out?

It has been a while since I fired up the imagination engine, sorry about that! Our recent integration of Flux in the app has me thinking about how I might use it, and also what I could have done with this idea if it had existed forever.

Imagine you had an app (and a clever AI engine to help) that listed everything you had ever spent money on. What kinds of things would you like to find out?

  • Maybe what was the first thing you ever paid for yourself? (I think mine was a tin of green, sugary sweets with pocket money) :crazy_face:

  • Maybe how much you have spent on wine / beer / cocktails / fashion - and scare yourself into some future moderation? :money_mouth_face:

  • How much did raising those kids actually cost over 18+ years? :scream:

  • Or maybe how much you have spent in small, local shops supporting the community rather than big branded outlets? :innocent:

Is there something you think would love to know, and would maybe make you change your behaviour today?

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I’d like to know the first record I ever bought and how much in total my love of music has cost me. Not that I’d do anything different.

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My first thoughts would be along the lines of - who else has access to this data? What are they going to do with it?

In this future of our imagination, your security & privacy is assured, don’t worry!

another way to look at that is “how much money have you spent supporting the artists you love”. That would be really interesting.

Our imaginations might be the only place this future exists… (not a comment on Dozens at all - I have no specific privacy complaints/concerns), just an observation that all this data is valuable to the wrong people as well as the right ones :). In truth I don’t want to know how much I’ve spend on gadgets over the years…

It would be interesting to correlate income/spending/borrowing with other data sets…

  • How does spending correlate with health data - is/was that gym subscription worth it? What’s the average weight gain per £100 spend on fast food / loss per £100 spent on health food?
  • What MPG am I actually getting out of my car? (did this for a year by hand, but gave up recording mileage+petrol cost every time I topped up…)
  • How has my income correlated with inflation? / When was I best-off (in terms of disposable income perhaps)?
  • Might even find some savings I squirrelled away and forgot about. All too easy in these days of paperless accounts…
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oooh, now that would be interesting to know.

I recall once pre-paying a gym membership period because “it would encourage me to go” … but I think I went 4 or 5 times (I think the average cost was more than £60 a visit), and then only used the cafe for lunches from then on. I’m sure my health did not improve!

In fact, since in this fantasy world we have EVERYTHING, what would be fascinating would be to see if you spent less overall, or maybe on different things BECAUSE you felt better/healthier (or vice versa).

I think there are definite spirals (good and bad) that arise when you feel positive or negative.

That’s sort of the idea behind Financial Wellness here (no, I’m not just saying this for branding reasons :wink: ). If you feel confident and secure about the future, you can ‘afford’ to spend more mental energy today to make better decisions for yourself. If you are stressed about money for today and future, you simply don’t have the energy to stop and consider options.

It really would be interesting to see if there could be data from our own lives to prove that.

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I guess the powerful AI engine would be able to give me my average annual income and spending, and automatically filter out the noises (one off big spending or bonus), and smooth out big item (car, new boiler, etc.) purchase over the years of their useful lifetime. Perhaps also a personalised FIRE date based on those numbers and a projected real rate of return, and keep it up to date with changes to the first two factors.

I have been doing my own bookkeeping and calculations, but every life event will dramatically change the magic number. Get the sum of income/spending is easy, but filtering out the noises and smooth out big purchases is a headache. It would financial planning a lot easier if all the numbers are available at fingertips.

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