Being financially responsible takes a whole lot of willpower. You might use a credit card, but constantly spend more than your checking account can cover each month, leading to killer late fees. You might have a budget, but ignore it every time a tempting dinner invite comes up. Maybe you are so anxious about your lack of budget that you don’t even want to check your account balance.
Feedback is a new way to help guide you toward better financial health. As Fast Company reports, the Feedback card is designed to be a universal payment card that tells you at a glance exactly how much money you have left to spend in your checking account based on your income and savings goals.
When you press the button on the card, it will tell you how much money you have left to spend today, this week, or this month on a small, calculator-style screen on the top of the card. You link the card to the Feedback app on your phone to update your budget and get a detailed report of your spending.
The idea is that you’ll check your balance before making a purchase, reminding yourself of exactly what you can spend at that time. The ease of checking might help mitigate your financial denial. You just have to press a button, not whip out your credit card and log into your bank app. Studies have found that people tend to spend more when they aren’t dealing with cash, because they don’t have to see exactly how much is left in their wallet.
Whether or not people will use the budget gauge seems up for debate. If you are already avoiding looking at your bank account so that you can justify impulse spending, you may not want to look at those numbers directly on your card, either. But if Feedback can convince you to check in with your budget before every purchase, it may lead to savings—if you can avoid the very real temptation of going into debt for impulse purchases.
The Feedback card, from the nonprofit design firm Ideas42, is still a prototype. Rather than sell the cards, according to Fast Company, the designers are hoping to share the open-source design with credit card companies, financial institutions, and anyone else who wants to use it to help people be more financially responsible. So it might be coming to a credit card near you—which could potentially help you improve your credit score.
[h/t Fast Company]