Two different readers recently received an application for the Visa Black Card from Barclays. With its “patent pending carbon” material and “exclusive rewards program,” it’s not for everyone. With its $495 annual fee (plus another $195 per each authorized user), it’s not for anyone, not even the supposed 1% of the population Barclays says they’re marketing it to. We take that back—if Gob Bluth could get his own credit card, this would be the one he’d sign up for. C’mon!
Our post on freezing your credit cards in a block of ice got me thinking. Anything that slows, stops, or impedes making transactions can be used as a technique for limiting your spending. Whatever it may be, cutting up your credit cards, locking up most of your money in an account it takes 3 days to transfer from, giving yourself an allowance, it will be a variation on a single principle: It’s easier to put a hard limit on the future then to make the right decision in the impulsive moment. Installing some kind of an automatic hiccup can help break you out of your desire-driven action and give you the breathing room to step back and make the right choice. So if you have trouble with overspending (or overeating or any kind of bad habit) and your sheer willpower is sometimes lacking, aka, you’re human, try brainstorming ways you can trip yourself up. The world is full of obstacles, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one.