How do your shopping habits compare to others?


By web gangsta | Published:

Have you ever wondered how you are doing compared to others in your immediate circle?

Don’t pretend that conversation doesn’t happen between you and your significant other: “do you think they have more credit card debt than we do?” after leaving a dinner party.  “How do you think they can afford all that and we can’t?”

Well, we can answer these types of questions now, at least in Australia, where one bank has decided to post a billion credit card transaction records online for you to compare and contrast your own habits against others.

Joyful Momma's Guide to Shopping & Cooking Frugally: Tasty Tips for Saving Money from the Grocery Store to the Dinner Table
Joyful Momma’s Guide to Shopping & Cooking Frugally:
Tasty Tips for Saving Money from the Grocery Store to the Dinner Table

The PEOPLE LIKE U website starts by asking you six questions:

  • your gender
  • your age
  • your income
  • your living situation
  • your housing situation
  • your location

and then compares/contrasts what “people like you” do in their own purchasing situation versus what the rest of the country does.

Web Watch arbitrarily picked a location in Sydney for our comparison, and it ends up that we spend quite a lot of money for our housing in that random location than the rest of Australia spends for there home.  Perhaps its time for us to move.

Digging deeper, we can also see what the 3 most popular dining locations or other credit card use cases are for people in our demographic.  Apparently, we really like the Hard Rock Cafe and staying at the Four Seasons hotel; we’re really fond of Cirque du Soleil and prefer to holiday in New Zealand, China, and Singapore (with Italy, UAB, and Vietnam also being popular destinations).

It would be interesting to see what would happen in the US if Visa, MasterCard, or American Express decided to do something similar, but something tells us that sharing this type of information publically – even if scrubbed for uniquely identifiable personal information – would somehow violate a credit card’s privacy statement.   After all, there have been cases where people have been identified when companies decided to publish similar “de-identified” information.