We all know which day Christmas falls….kids as young as elementary school know that Christmas is on December 25th. Hanukkah dates typically fall within the month of December as well. Since those dates happen at/around the same time every year that makes those holidays easy to budget. They are holidays that cannot sneak up on you and planning for them early means you will avoid credit card debt or layaway hassles during the holiday season.
When you have created your budget (see How to Create a Budget) you should have a budget category for Christmas or Hanukkah (see Budget Categories You Are Probably Forgetting for other categories that sneak up on people). If you need a little extra help making sure the money you are allocating for gifts does not get spent ahead of time, consider opening a Christmas Club account at your local credit union or financial institution.
A Christmas Club account is a special short-term savings account that encourages nest-egg building for the holidays. You can open this account any time throughout the year and save as little or as much as you possible. Deposit money into your Christmas Club account automatically each month…or make your deposit on a regular basis at your local branch.
Not all financial institutions offer this type of account but that shouldn’t discourage you from trying. You may be able to find a small savings account interest rate on your Christmas Fund account. Typically the rates are so low they aren’t enough to get really excited about though.
Many Christmas Club accounts transfer the money you have saved directly to your main checking account on a specified date each year (i.e. November 1) so you may not have to make a special trip to release your holiday funds!
Consider opening a Christmas Club Account to ensure you have the funds to have the merriest Christmas you can.
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