I’ve been doing some research into the best ways to cut down on my bad habits (spending, drinking, smoking Marlboros…) and today I came across a CNN article about a site (invested in part by Evan Williams, whom I can only assume is the same Ev of Twitter) called Blippy. I’ve started looking into the service and I think that – used properly, of course – it could be a good way to publicly keep my spending (and thus drinking and smoking) habits in check.
No matter how open I am online (personally, including constantly Tweeting what shows I’m at and the like), I’m skittish.
While I never truly live beyond my means (I keep within a tight budget every month and pay my bills on time no matter what else gets sacrificed in the process. Grocery shopping? Bah. Ramen works!), I hate feeling so stretched so often. I’d love to work on this in 2010. I’d also love to quit smoking and cut back on the amount of money I spend on bar food and cocktails. Budgeting hasn’t worked because I always stay within my budget but I’d like to see how much further I can go. Something about the public-watching aspect of Blippy makes me think it might be the push I need in the right direction. To know what somewhere in the cosmos, someone’s checking up on me. (True, one of the joys of being on your own in your mid-20’s is the fact that no one’s checking up on you but for some things, you have to admit, it’s a great incentive).
Blippy’s gotten a bit of good press now, with Pete Cashmore of Mashable covering it for CNN as well, and the Washington Post hitting on it just a couple of days ago. As far as I can tell the media picked up on it about a month and a half ago and most of the coverage has been positive. All signs seem to be pointing to this as a fun, easy way to keep track of my spending and allow others their opinion while I’m at it.
But there’s still that skittish-ness.
What are your thoughts? How do you go about saving money? What styles of budgeting to you lean on? Are there other sites out there that you’d suggest? And of course, are you Blipping?