Are you traveling over the holidays? Sometimes planning gets so chaotic, people forget to keep their finances in order. Add a few financial management items to your packing checklist to prevent frustration down the road.
Tell your bank you'll be traveling.
To protect customers against fraud, most banks monitor your normal spending habits. (including geographic location.) If out-of-area purchases suddenly show up on your account, the bank may flag or block those transactions as potentially fraudulent. Also keep the 800 numbers for your credit cards on hand in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
Double-check your accounts.
Make sure you have enough funds set aside for emergency money during your vacation. Set up automatic or early payments for any bills that will be due while you're away. Don't miss any payment dates because you're gone. That only results in unwanted late fees.
Make sure you have a way to check in while you're away.
With services like online banking, text alerts and mobile banking you can watch your account balances even while you're away. You'll likely be making withdrawals from unfamiliar ATMs and making purchases at new places. Carefully watching your accounts while on vacation is a good idea. This will keep your spending in check and help you catch any fraudulent activity right away.
Carry a variety of payment options.
Take along several credit cards, a check book and a debit card. Then, if one payment method fails, you'll still have access to your funds. Carry a small amount of cash for small purchases and souvenirs. Use several wallets. If one gets lost/stolen you still have options. Have to make currency exchanges? Talk to your bank about the most cost-effective method for your situation.
By following these tips, your vacation should go much smoother.
Peoples State Bank, Member FDIC