Definitely one issue is that I try not to enter into credit card autopayment agreements. As one example of what can go wrong with them even when dealing with a perfectly honest company, see https://www.dreamhost.com/blog/2008/01/15/um-whoops/
For that aspect, I’d be even more against giving a bank account number. Using Paypal would, for me, be equivalent to using my Paypal card. Doing the disposable credit card thing would be a possibility, although somewhat of a hassle to get the card, and I thought I read somewhere else on the forum that you discouraged that. In any case, I have a Shift Card which is probably what I’d use for this sort of thing. That spends from Bitcoin, and I can control the balance I leave in it so that very little is at risk.
I was thinking about this some more this morning, though, and I think the real issue is that I’m just not really on board with the concept of punishing myself for failing to meet my goals. I haven’t completely figured it out, and quite possibly I’m completely wrong about this, but I think for me the reason why Beeminder is working is more due to the daily positive reinforcement than the threat of losing $5. My first goal was a weight loss goal, and to the extent there’s a threat, the big threat to me is that I won’t reach the goal. The cost of that is a lot more than $5. The daily positive reinforcement is seeing those charts every day, seeing myself on the path to reaching my goal, keeping myself on the right side of the road or even a little bit off the right side of the road, making my goal a little bit harder after consistently being off the right side of the road for a while.
Anyway, I won’t go on. I’m not sure if I’m right or not, and even if I am right about my own personal motivations I have no idea if other people are similar or different. I do appreciate the software that was written, though. And I’m excited about applying it to some of my goals of the “do at least X per week” variety, using the strategy outlined in http://blog.beeminder.com/chunky/ (I still need to decide exactly how to implement it, though. I think for my goal of “do X at least 6 times per week” I’m going to start out lower, no more than 4 and maybe as little as 1 time per week, and then crank it up once I’m having no problems with that.)