My birthday is coming up soon! I realize I’m getting older and am supposed to start hating my birthday – but I don’t, at least not yet. And thinking about my birthday starts me thinking about presents! ( I know – I’m just like a kid.) And while thinking about presents, it made me think of that other time of the year when everyone is buying gifts. Christmas is less than 6 months away, and it’s never too soon to start planning ahead.
One of my favorite Bank Accounts is the Christmas Club account. Most banks and credit unions offer some sort of account similar to this. It’s usually a savings account you transfer money into weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever works for you. These accounts typically don’t allow you to withdraw money, or might penalize you if you do withdraw money, before a certain day (typically sometime in late October.) Talk about a good incentive to put some money away, and leave it there! You then receive all those savings, either by check or transferring into your checking account, so you’re ready to spend it.
I have an idea of how much money I spend every holiday season, I divided that by about 40 or 45, and transferred that amount out of my checking account and into this Special Occasion Account weekly. And yes, I know there’s 52 weeks in a year, but this gives me a little leeway. If you start an account like this now, you’ll need to figure the amount you want to have saved up, the number of weeks you have until you’ll need the money, and how often you want to transfer money (maybe every payday or maybe every Monday.) And some people will just deposit money whenever they can. Maybe once a month you gather up all the coins from everyone’s pockets and deposit that money, or maybe you have a little side project and so all the money from that goes into this account.
Being able to save ahead of time, especially for a time of year when you know you’ll spend a large amount of money, is very important. By using these savings, you won’t have to put everything on a credit card and end up paying those Finance Fees. So call your bank today, ask them about your options, and start saving!