Market Basket spending/non-spending, and more

I guess the biggest news centered around Lowell this summer has been the Market Basket fiasco. A couple of weeks into the boycott, I thought I’d create a visual to contrast our spending at different markets in the past year. Naturally, I used Mathematica. Here is a version of the plot I posted on a Facebook group site related to Lowell:

MRKT BSKTSHAWspending.jpg
Naturally, the plot labeled MRKT BSKT is our spending at Market Basket. The SHAW graph is actually a combination of our spending at Shaw’s and Hannaford’s. I think I stopped at Shaw’s around February and bought a few items, but other than that, spending there started at the same time as the boycott.
Instead of making this a one-time exercise, I decided to develop a function that would create other graphs like this one. My main summer project has been to rebuild the stairs at my son’s house in Chelmsford, adding a small deck. Out of convenience, my main spending on the project, which started in mid-July, has been at three locations. They are my local NH Home Depot (no sales tax!), where I’ve bought most of the smaller items I could fit into my Subaru, the Lowell Lowe’s, which is five minute from the project and where I’ve bought several last minute items I didn’t expect to need, and finally, Friend Lumber from whom I’ve had lumber delivered. Here is the spending plot at those locations for 2014, with another ~$100 spending to go at this point:
LOWEHOME Dspending.jpg
One more example, here is my coffee spending – this is flawed in that it is only the debit card spending, so a lot of my purchases at Einstein’s during the year are not included. A&E is my local coffee roaster, and I definitely spend more there that anywhere else, even if I took into account cash sales. Also, I use the Starbucks app on my phone, which is why larger, less frequent purchases are recorded there.
My spending on coffee
If you’d like to try this with your spending, you can download a copy of the Mathematica Package that creates these graphs. The package assumes you have a Bank of America debit card. You would download activity from your account and use the file path to that .csv file on your computer to specify the data file. With a bit of Mathematica expertise, it shouldn’t be hard to adapt the package to other banking systems.

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