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#085; to blip or not to blip?

January 21, 2010

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?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2010 6:19 PM

    You’re letting it all hang out online already, so what the heck.

    • January 22, 2010 3:41 PM

      Ah, but believe it or not I do try to keep things anonymous! My (very locked down) FB is the only page I’m truly open. But I’m still mulling Blippy… I love the idea of it, it’s killing me!

  2. January 21, 2010 7:32 PM

    I don’t use a credit card, cash only. Blip sounds interesting, but I can’t see myself spending any time looking at other people’s purchases. I am glad to hear your plans to cut down on the drinking and smoking. Taking care of your body is a good thing!

    • January 22, 2010 3:42 PM

      I figure that the ‘taking care of my body’ thing is the fastest route to taking care of my wallet!

  3. Aubri permalink
    January 21, 2010 8:56 PM

    Can you anonymize your identity? As in, can everyone knows atlimbo smokes like a chimney, but few know who atlimbo really is, so her financial records are still safe.
    I have no fear of using this, and can see how it could be an easy way to do quick financial tracking, as well as one more way to let people you know what’s up (and how much they owe you for drinks last night)
    I can see the drawbacks for “real” people, but for those of us who already thrive in the ether, it seems like just one more toy 🙂

    • January 22, 2010 3:44 PM

      You can pick any name on the site you’d like, as far as I can tell (I’ve been poking around, I’ll admit). And all CC information is locked down, of course (according the articles I’ve read, at least).

      I’ve used Mint for budgeting and tracking but it’s a bit cumbersome and requires me to make the time to sit down and do it – you know?

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