9 Steps You Can Take Now to Avoid Excessive Holiday Spending

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Shopping for cash while on vacation can be a useful budgeting strategy, especially if you have credit card debt and don’t want to rack up any more. But if you don’t usually have a balance, there are other benefits to using credit cards.

For example, most card issuers allow cardholders to receive alerts when their balance reaches a certain level, said Troy Dennis, senior vice president of TD Bank. Log into your account to update your alert preferences, so that you can receive an email or text when your balance reaches a certain dollar amount of your choice. By doing this, you’ll know when you’ve hit your spending limit and can avoid going over your vacation budget, Dennis said.

You should also set up an alert to be notified of charges on your card that exceed a certain dollar amount. Bank transaction alerts can help you spot fraud, which tends to increase during the holidays, Dennis said.

“A lot of people are not here to celebrate,” he said. “They are looking for victims. If someone gets your card or card number and uses it to make unauthorized purchases, you’ll know with transaction alerts. You will not be responsible for unauthorized purchases if you report them promptly.

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