Tip: Use E-mail / Text Message alerts from banks

A lot of banks and credit card companies are offering email and/or text message alerts for their customers. You can customize them for transactions over a certain amount, payments due, payments posted, statement ready, and many more. This is a great way to stay on top of things!

I personally use them so I don't have to (try) to remember each one's due date and amount. I get emails from them and go online to pay as needed. This helps avoid late fees, interest, and headaches each month. You can also do similar alerts for your bank account so you don't overdraw it. This is usually a free service from your institution.

I use the following institutions that already have this service in place: Chase, American Express, ING Direct, and others. The added bonus of getting email on a smart phone, such as my iPhone, allows me to stay on top of things all the time. This has also helped me catch fraudulent large transactions on my credit cards that I don't even use any more!

This free service can save us all time, money, and hassle down the road. You always know where you stand without having to log into each account separately (in most cases). It does take a little time to set up in the beginning but is time well spent. The peace of mind and useful information it provides makes life easier!