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New app plots online spending against hours worked

9 March 2021

A new app available on Google will help people plot how many hours they would have to work to pay for the total cost of their online shopping, as more people choose to shop virtually.

The new app, created by digital financing coaching app Claro, will enable users to plot their income against their spending decisions, based on their salaries. Claro said the app was designed to encourage people to make more considered decisions about what they are buying, as well as keep track of their spending and stay within their budget.

It comes as 53% of consumers admitted to shopping online more now than at the start of the pandemic.

Claro Money Widget, which is free to download and available from the Google Chrome web store, offers an assessment based on the average UK salary, but also enables users to set their own salary to create a more accurate and personalised calculation.

Retailers that can be used through the app include Amazon, eBay, Boohoo, Next, ASOS, IKEA, Beauty Bay, Misguided and &Other Stories, with further retailers due to be added.

Alex Ford, chief revenue officer, Claro, said: “With the increase in online shopping and emotional spending over the pandemic, consumers can easily see and buy an item online in a matter of minutes without thinking about the consequences or ramifications of spending that money.

“One-click purchasing options and seamless PayPal integration on many sites, such as Amazon and eBay, mean that shoppers don’t even have to get their card out to complete a purchase, further alienating them from the comprehensive understanding that they are spending hard earned cash.

“Further to this, buy-now-pay-later schemes mean that unplanned spending sprees won’t show up on bank balances or credit card statements for months to come causing consumers who are not savvy to financial planning to lose site of their funds and, as reports show, could land some in serious debt.”

Clare Seal, author of Real Life Money: An Honest Guide to Taking Control of your Finances, said our brains often don’t have the time to process all of the information and make a conscious decision about what we are buying before we checkout.

Seal said: “I think it’s important to encourage and remind people to add this ‘friction’ back into the purchasing process, either by sleeping on purchasing decisions or asking themselves about the true value of an item before buying it. That’s why having an extension like Claro’s is so great – it demonstrates how much time, as well as money, your purchase is essentially costing you. It is a genius way to encourage more mindful spending, slow down impulse buying and help prevent overspending on unnecessary items.”

Professional Paraplanner