Why access to data may help control the nation’s spending and eating habits

At the end of the month it can often be hard to see where you’ve spent all your money. Those healthy eating programmes often pull the well-known stunt of piling up a month’s worth of Coca-Cola and fast food items to shame the overweight subject into mending their ways. Apart from ancient re-runs of Spendaholics on Reality TV and good old Martin Lewis, there’s little in the way of a personal finance equivalent.

So with the news that “companies like Tesco and Sainsbury’s may be required by law to provide electronic copies of “historic transaction data” to shoppers when people request it,” we may finally be given the sort of information we need to control both our spending choices and our eating habits.

Shopping data

Image from The Telegraph online


I know that if I could see at a glance how many bars of chocolate I’d purchased in any given month, it might be just the jolt I needed to mend my ways. Similarly I might look at my buying patterns and wonder why I’d not bought any protein based foods and that I’d probably not reached my “five a day.” Knowing that my dark chocolate habit had cost me in the region of £xxx per month would definitely be food for thought!

I have no idea how easy the government will make it for consumers to get hold of this spending data and what format it will take, but if it helps us Brits to reflect on our spending habits and food choice, then surely it can only be a good thing.