20 May 2016

Bank account in the red? Here’s a shocking solution…

Find it tough to stay within budget each month? This wristband could make you richer by shocking you out of overspending!
electric shock

We know just how tough it is to budget when you’re a student, particularly when you’re expected to live off a pretty dismal maintenance loan that barely even covers the cost of rent these days.

In fact, sometimes checking our bank balances can be so depressing that we… err… don’t look. This can be dangerous though, as you could end up with bank charges if you go over your student overdraft.

The solution?

festival-budgetA UK firm called Intelligent Environments might have a solution to our budgeting problems – by linking our bank accounts to a wristband that will give us an electric shock if we go over budget.

The platform, which they’ve called Interact IoT (that stands for ‘internet of things’, by the way) should ‘shock’ you into being better at budgeting, and also spare you the pain of checking your bank balance through your fingers.

They’ve created a platform that works alongside something called a Pavlok wristband. If you’ve never heard of Pavlok before, it’s a wristband that was crowdfunded through Indiegogo in 2014 as a ‘personal coach for your wrist’ to help wearers kick bad habits such as procrastination, pressing the snooze button on their alarm too long and overeating.

And how do they do that? By giving the wristband wearer a 255 volt shock when they step out of line!

How does it work?

Pavlok Writstband

This wristband isn’t about giving users shocks just for kicks (although maybe a little). It uses something called ‘Pavlovian conditioning’ (no relation to the fruit and meringue dessert, in case you’re wondering) to shock users out of undesirable habits or behaviours by giving them an electric shock each time they step out of line.

The theory is that over time, the wearer will begin to associate the bad behaviour with pain, and as a result, will gradually start behaving themselves!

By connecting up to your smartphone, you’re able to set boundaries of what you want to avoid and how high a shock to give yourself (255 volts is the maximum, so you won’t fry yourself, don’t worry!).

The inventors of this wristband claim that, if used correctly, you can break bad habits within five days.

They’ve even got a function that links up to a chrome extension that will shock you if you open certain websites or spend too long on irrelevant sites when studying. Perfect for exam time procrastination!

How the wristband could save you money

doreenThe wristband itself isn’t cheap. Currently sitting at around $179 (about £122) you won’t be off to a money-saving start, but if you find it really tough to curb your spending each month, this could prove to be a worthwhile investment.

You can also change the settings on your smartphone month by month so that you have a much better grasp of what you’re spending and make you think more carefully about it each time you spend.

In addition to this, the wristband can also save you money on energy bills by linking up with your thermostat! Every time the temperature goes over a certain degree, you’ll get shocked into turning your radiators down.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning your thermostat down by as little as three degrees will save you £255 a year!

Can I buy it now?

Wolf of Wall Street money meme

At the moment, no banks have agreed to take part in Interact IoT. However, the company have previously worked with several UK banks, so they’re optimistic that banks will sign up.

The platform is already compatible with the smart meter Nest, so you get start saving on your energy bills with that now.

Oh – and yes, this wristband comes in more colours than just boring black. It also comes in blue, pink, orange and grey, so you can look fashionable whilst you get hit with a 225 volt electric shock when you’re in the pub with your mates! Well that’s a relief.

Until the platform is officially launched, here’s some other practical ways to save money to get you started.

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