A Shortcut to Spending Less

Posted by Jill Chivers in Shopping in the Movies and Media

Welcome to our second or third last blog posting of 2011.  Today we have a short article for you, then some other news you might find interesting. 

Here’s something I discovered recently.  The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab in Boston have created three prototypes of wallets that help shoppers spend less.  What the? Yep, you read that right – this is a new type of wallet (not yet available) that monitors how much you are spending (not in cash it must be noted – only money leaving your money via plastic is trackable) and gives you feedback about your expenditure while you shop.  You have to be Bluetooth-enabled, as the wallet synchs with your smartphone and via that great satellite in the sky, it bleeps messages to you about your spending while you are shopping.

Dr Pavlov would be so fascinated in this invention, I’m sure.  Depending on whether you experience a buzz in your wallet every time you buy as a positive or a negative, this invention could end up failing or succeeding in spectacular fashion (using its intended purposes as the benchmark – which is to help shoppers become more financially savvy by tracking their outgoings in real time). 

Like laboratory animals who are given a painful electrical shock every time they touch a particular button, this invention could be an effective dissuader to spending more.  Or perhaps that buzz in your back pocket (or handbag) could act in the opposite way, and give you a little buzz of pleasure everytime it signals a new purchase has been made.  It’s amazing the unintended purposes that any invention can be put to, isn’t it?

Guess we’ll find out in time, as the MIT Media Lab release these wallets, and tell us what happens when people start using them.  I’ll keep you posted.

Other News

Wall Street Journal. I had the great pleasure of being included in a piece on compulsive shopping in the Wall Street Journal.  Health reporter Melinda Beck interviewed nine people, including several of the world’s leading experts on overshopping, and the final quote of the article was about me and our unique Shop Your Wardrobe program.  Interview can be found on our Media/Print and Online page.

Teleseminar with Dr April Lane Benson.   April hosted a teleseminar last week, focusing on my story and how I overcame my shopping problem, and designed and created the Shop Your Wardrobe program.  We have received some fabulous feedback about this event and are already looking at 2012 events.  You can listen to a replay of the teleseminar on our About page (it’s toward the bottom of that page).

Consumption and Fashion. I was invited to participate in a sustainable living event in Melbourne a few weekends ago.  Fascinating!  I was one of three panelists discussing Consumption and Fashion, where we discussed the underlying issues surrounding, you guessed it – fashion and consumption.  The three of us took to this topic from slightly different perspectives, with fellow panelists Jo Cramer, a fashion lecturer from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) offering a perspective about designing fashion so it is inherently sustainable (a neat idea); and Kate Luckens, the director of Australia’s most successful swapping organisation, The Clothing Exchange suggesting that recycling (through swapping) is the way to go when it comes to more sustainable habits around clothing consumption. 

My own perspective is more about the responsibility of the individual in understanding and changing their own consumption habits around fashion.  Which is what we encourage women to do who join our My Year Without Clothes Shopping program, in all its richness. It was a stimulating discussion with enough variety in opinion to save us from becoming boring, but not too much that we had a bench-clearing brawl. 

More videos for you. We have added 3 more videos to our Home page. Each of these videos is short and explains a key element of the My Year Without Clothes Shopping program, including: the 6 keys of the overshopping puzzle; our program philosophy and what you can expect when you join us and sign up; and the difference between our standard online program and the new upgraded Gold Class program. 

If you’d like to watch these videos, you’ll find them in the middle of this page – just scroll down and you’ll see them.

Getting on top of your shopping.  December and January are excellent months for getting in touch with your shopping habits, and starting the process of forming healthier relationships to them.  If you have been thinking about taking some conscious action, now is the time! 

We are here to support you with two great choices of professionally designed and delivered programs.  Choose between:

1.  Our ease-into-it 6 Week Conscious Shopping Mini Course.  All details, including info on how to sign up, here.

2.  The full kahuna that is the My Year Without Clothes Shopping program. The 12 themes we have for you over the 12 months offer variety and interest, designed around an elegant program structure.  This isn’t an austere year of “doing without” – this is a rich and rewarding year, full of relevant material that will have you thinking and feeling differently about your shopping, your wardrobe, your wallet – and yourself.  

Make 2012 the year you’ll “shop your own wardrobe” – do yourself a favour and join us today, we’re waiting to welcome you!

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