Personal-Finance Site Gets Down to Details

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Bundle.com, the latest entry among personal-finance Web sites, went live today, joining Mint.com and FiLife in a crowded field. The site's new wrinkle is providing detailed information on spending and saving.

Bundle.com's centerpiece, "Your Money," assesses a user's spending patterns, and compares and contrasts them with others matching their demographic, zeroing in on income, marital status, family size and home city. The site, using anonymous banking data and government statistics, also provides a breakdown of where money is spent, business by business. Writers and users blog about their experiences and savings tips.

Bundle's initial investors include banking giant Citigroup ( C), software firm Microsoft ( MSFT) and investment researcher Morningstar ( MORN), all of which are represented on its board of directors.

By way of example, consider that bellwether of all things Middle American -- Peoria, Ill.

How do things play in Peoria? Peorians outspend the country in nearly every category, including 37% more on shopping and 21% more on food. As the site puts it: "The quintessential American city is more gluttonous than the country itself."

Chief Executive Officer Jaidev Shergill says the site was born from a rude awakening he experienced when, working for Citigroup, he saw a healthy pay raise evaporate before his eyes.

"The money was spent without anything to show for it," he says. "There was nothing extra in my bank account and no additional savings. There was no major upgrade in standard of living. It was money that just disappeared through spending."

As he visited personal-finance sites, Shergill says he found useful information, but much of it was too broad in scope and aimed at "the average person" rather than tailored to individuals.

"What they didn't do is give any hard data on how you should be spending," he says. "How are some people just like you, in age, geography, household status and income spending a lot less in certain categories?"

Building a site with a wealth of information and data was made easier by Shergill's relationship with Citigroup.

"We would need to get data on at least 10 million people to actually drill down" to useful comparisons, he says. "Every time you swipe a debit card or credit card, that is data that is generated."

-- Reported by Joe Mont in Boston.

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