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It can be all too easy to spend more than you make, particularly when don’t pay enough attention to your credit card account balances. But you can easily develop strategies that may help you avoid overspending. And guess what? Your online credit card account can help — by providing alerts and notifications.

Setting up Alerts

Most online account associated with your credit card will allow you to set up alerts for all kinds of activity on your credit card. These alerts can help protect you from fraud or identity theft, and are a great way to avoid overspending.

You can use these email and text alerts to track your spending and even as a way to wake yourself up when you’re on a shopping spree. You can have an alert sent to your phone or computer any time you make a purchase. You can store these notifications in an email folder or you can scroll through the texts you receive on your smartphone.

For many consumers, there seems to be a disconnect between their trips to the store and the bills they receive at the end of each month. It also can be difficult for couples with joint accounts to manage their spending. Alerts can provide reminders that the balance is building and that it’s good to be in control of your spending.

Choosing Your Notifications

You likely will find an alerts menu in your profile or settings tab in your online account — which you usually can access through a computer or a phone app. There you can set up notifications in many different ways to help you manage your spending.

Discover, for example, offers alerts specific to managing your account, protecting your account, tracking your spending and managing rewards and offers. You can set alerts to let you know when you’ve reached a certain balance amount, when you’re in danger of maxing out your credit card or when the size of a purchase exceeds a certain amount. This allows you to be proactive in avoiding overspending.

You can have them sent for any transactions over a specific amount — or for all your transactions. At a minimum, you should request notifications to remind you when a payment is due, when your balance has reached a certain threshold and when a transaction exceeds an amount that you specify.

Tracking Your Spending Habits

Nobody in a store is going to remind you to stop spending when you’re working your credit card and approaching your limits. And your spouse or partner may not remember to tell you everything they’ve done with the credit card. A little ring or buzz from your smartphone, however, can help.

As the old saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. And if you want to manage your money, you have to consistently track your spending.

Keeping constant tabs on your purchases will help you avoid overspending. It can also help you understand more about yourself and why you may sometimes find yourself spending more than you have.

  • Are you buying things you never end up using?
  • Are you eating out too often?
  • Or do you feel yourself battling impulses when you are out shopping?
  • Do you ever experience buyer’s remorse?

Utilizing the alerts available for your smartphone and computer can help you deal with these questions and also help you develop better credit management habits that will support a brighter financial future.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.