Toronto-Dominion Bank is trying something unusual this holiday season. The Canadian bank is encouraging consumers to spend sensibly, and that means swearing off credit card use and shopping with cash instead.

“We are saying cash can be a great option because you keep track of it,” says Greg Braca, the regional President of TD Bank for the metropolitan New York area.

The bank, which issues credit cards, conceived its idea for encouraging sober holiday spending this fall, Braca says “When you are swiping the card all day, you tend to lose sight of how much you are really spending,” he says, adding the message is in keeping with the times, where consumers are paying down debt and looking for smarter ways to spend.

So the bank has developed a hierarchy. After cash, it encourages consumers to use debit cards because payments come directly out of a checking account and consumers avoid ATM fees. After debit comes prepaid gift cards, which TD Bank sells in increments ranging from $25 to $750 and replaces if lost or stolen.

The bank also recommends that consumers use the bank’s mobile budgeting product or download a free personal financial-management tool to their smartphones to make budgeting easier, Braca says.

“We all spend money during the holiday season, and these are smart tips that helps consumers avoid sticker shock in January with the Visa statement,” he says.

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