If you are one of those people who just cannot seem to stay within your monthly budget, you might want to look into the new personal finance tools Citigroup plans to begin offering customers. They intend to offer a feature that will allow customers to set budgets for themselves, and have their card decline purchases that would put them over budget.
The service, called inControl and already in use by some Barclaycard holders in Britain, is a sort of financial chastity belt that offers the potential to prevent a variety of budget sins and other money traps.
Worried about your restaurant habit? If your bank adopts MasterCard’s service, you could tell it to have your debit or credit card reject any restaurant purchase above whatever monthly cap you set.
Sick of your credit card number falling into the hands of thieves? Tell your card issuer to never allow charges originating from the fraud-prone countries that end in “stan” or “ia.” (Don’t worry: You can instruct your bank to make an exception for Australia during the few weeks that you’ll be honeymooning in Sydney.)