Virtual Credit Cards and the Time it Takes to Purchase
I think I've written before about the fact that I use a "virtual" credit card number for my purchases on the internet. The way that this works is that I log into my credit cards web site and launch a tool from there (that I also have to log into) that creates a new number for me any time I want. The charge goes to my regular credit card, it's just a one time use number that's tied into my account. The tool has a way that you can download and install it directly on your computer so that it ties directly into your browser. With this, it'll pop up and just require you to log in once then automatically fill out standard purchase forms for you. I actually prefer the web version one. It take a few minutes to go all the way through the process, but I think this is a good thing. It's a little bit of a pain to do, which means that it's much harder to buy things on a whim. I really got to thinking about this the other day when I saw one of the Visa Check Card commercials. The ad is really saying, you should consume as fast as possible. Literally, the tagline at the end is "Life takes faster money". Consume, consume, comsume. Faster, faster, faster. And for heaven's sake, don't stop to think about it. No wonder our national debt has grown to $9 TRILLION. Speaking of buying with cards, here's one more Dave Ramsey plug. Apparently, if you use a credit card for your purchases instead of cash, the average person will spend more money overall. Ramsey says 12-18% more. I don't know where he gets that number specifically, but I've heard similar things before. He's got a page on The Truth about Credit Cards that's a good read. On the flip site, Citigroup stock is close to a 4 year low right now. Probably worth looking into buying a little if you have some money to invest. Even though they are getting hammered right now, over the long term, I'm betting they will make it back up.