Posts Tagged finance

Consumer credit

I’ve written before about consumer credit and payday lenders; it’s an area that interests me and in which I have some personal experience. A friend of mine once described the process of learning to manage credit as “Okay, I’ve learned my lesson and now I’m just paying interest on it.”

In Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational he includes a chapter discussing consumer, credit cards and offers an intriguing idea – the “self-control” credit card. He proposes that you could set up a credit card with preset limits and penalties. So you could for instance say, “I can only spend $200 a week at the grocery store. If I spend more, the amount over the limit is approved but the same amount comes out of my checking account and gets deposited into my retirement account.” The variables are vast and compelling; you could set the limits in all kinds of ways; for instance, only $20 per week at coffee shops or the card shuts down for 12 hours or what not. Ariely actually got a chance to pitch it to a group of bankers who of course saw no reason to adopt it.

For myself however, I could see me opening a new account at a bank if I could put those kinds of limits and penalties in place. Read the rest of this entry »

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