This Smartwatch Tells You When You’re Spending Too Much Money
Smartwatches are known for not only telling time, but tracking your daily activities — steps taken, calories burned, hours slept. Now, a new device called the Cash smartwatch monitors another thing you might not always think about: your budget. It tells you when to cool it with the latte spending or hold off on buying new shoes for the fall.
The $139 gadget — which will be available online for purchase or via HSN, starting next week — comes from financialista Nicole Lapin, a correspondent for networks such as MSNBC and Today, and was one of the youngest CNN anchors to have her own show. She’s known for making finances approachable, and using easy-to-understand language for budget tips. Although the Cash smartwatch is aimed toward young women from ages 18 to 34, the model also comes with various strap options for men.
The CASH smartwatch doesn’t want to be the Apple Watch, and it’s not smart in the traditional category way (it doesn’t let you check email or take phone calls). Its main focus is to get you thinking about how you’re impulse buying, without needing to use boring spreadsheets. Every time you make a purchase, you tap the price into the interface and place it into a category (e.g. clothes, food and so on). On the back end, you’ll set up your monthly allowance, and Lapin recommends how much free spending money you’re allowed during that period.
When you go over-budget or are nearing that line, you’ll know right away on the smartwatch’s home screen. You can see what you’re spending in each category via a green line (how much you have left for the month), too; and the more you spend, a red line grows.
Image: Mashable composite; Cash
While there’s no shortage of budgeting apps on the market, what sets the watch and its corresponding app apart is style and tone. Instead of drab financial terms, Lapin breaks it down in a way everyone can get. When you start spending too much, you’ll get a message like “Take the damn bus.” Encouraging feedback is in the same spirit: “Hell yeah, who’s a budgeting superstar?”
Image: Mashable, Elizabeth Pierson
The design of the watch itself is also fashionable — one of the biggest complaints about smartwatches in general is that they’re often large and the bands are made out of cheap material. They typically aren’t something you’d want to put on for a fancy dinner.
But the Cash smartwatch is beautiful. It comes with three band options (a crocodile-style white, black silicone and a patterned silver), so you can dress it up or down. It also features a stylus, if that’s your thing. And unlike Fitbit or Jawbone, where it’s obvious you’re tracking your movement, the Cash is inconspicuous. No one will ever know you’re using it to watch your dollars.
The watch face itself is a bit heavy, mostly because it holds all the tech. While the app (for Android and iOS) brings together a bigger picture of your spending, the Cash also works autonomously. For those who want an app or online program without the watch, you can access Lapin’s tips and platform directly.
“When I graduated college and while I was growing up, I was too scared to talk about money,” Lapin said. “It wasn’t until I started working in TV that I had to reach myself everything about finance quickly. Learning about it is intimidating, but I wanted to be the Rosette Stone for that — you don’t have to know any of the jargon in order to budget and save.”
The Cash smartwatch will launch on its official website starting Wednesday, Oct. 1, and will be available via HSN later that month.
Bonus: Apple Watch First Look
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