One of the best ways to use Wesabe is to get a better understanding of your spending by exploring your tags. You can click around from tag to merchant, look at the different places your money goes, and find the “hot spots” where you can most easily cut your spending. (For me — especially since the Wesabe launch — it’s restaurants.)
Until now, though, we haven’t had a way to do the same sort of exploration graphically. On your tag page, we showed your spending by week as a bar graph, but the graph wasn’t interactive and was limited to showing only the past three months.
Today, we’ve launched a completely revised graphing system. If you go to any of your tag pages, you’ll find an interactive Flash graph application that lets you get a much better picture of your spending over time, and lets you compare your spending across tags, which is incredibly useful. The graphs are live on the tag pages now
, and will be moving to the merchant and summary pages soon. [Update: now on those pages and more, see below.]
With the new Flash graphs you can:
- Scroll through your spending over time. Our earlier graphs only showed the last three months of your spending. With the new graphs, you can drag the graphs back and forth to see your spending as far back as your data goes.
- Change the time scale of the graph. Previously you could only see your spending one week at a time (that is, one bar for each week in the last three months). Now, you can view your spending by year, quarter, month, week, or day. The zoom control in the upper right lets you choose the view you want.
- Add up your spending by year, quarter, month, week, or day, for any tag. Just set the scale slider in the upper right to the right time-frame, and then hold your mouse over the right bar. You’ll see a popup showing your total spending for that bar (including a breakdown by tag if you’re comparing tags).
- Compare your spending by tag. Let’s say you want to see how much you spend on restaurants versus groceries. Go to your ‘restaurants’ tag page, and enter ‘groceries’ in the box at the lower-left of the graph, then click “Add tag.” You’ll see groceries appear in the graph. You can add up to five tags at once. If you want, you can delete any tag from the graph by clicking the box to its left in the legend.
- Drill down into the bars. If you’re looking at quarter view, and see that one of the quarters had a big expense, you can click on the bar for that quarter and the graph will zoom down to month view, centered on the months of the quarter you clicked. Click on a month’s bar and you get a week view, centered on that month.
- Build a consolidated spending graph. You may want to see one graph that shows your spending for multiple tags — not for comparison but as a single report. For instance, you might want to see everything tagged ‘movies’, ‘parking’, and ‘popcorn’ in the same graph. Just add the tags as above, and the graph will show you how much it really costs to go the movies.
- You can also not use them at all! If you don’t like Flash or have it blocked, you’ll still get our standard graphs, which are built without Flash.
For me, it’s interesting and useful to see how my ‘restaurant’ tag compares with my ‘groceries’ tag — after we launched Wesabe, unfortunately my cooking took a big hit and we started eating out a lot more often. Seeing it in one graph made me want to stay home and cook a big dinner.
Let us know how it works for you. We’re happy with how this came out and we’re looking forward to doing more.
Update: We’ve now added the Flash graphs to the spending and earning summary pages, the merchant pages, and the search results page, too. The comparison feature only works on tags, but the rest of the features work on all of the graphs.