By Jennifer Adase
If the gift-buying season stresses you out financially, here’s an idea you can use now in order to make Christmas 2016 a lot easier on your budget.
One of the best ways to get financially organized and budget for the holidays is to open what’s called a “Christmas Club Account.” They can be set up with a low minimum deposit. At First National Bank of NWA, we open these accounts for as low as $5.
You can deposit money into the Christmas Club Account as often as you want. One of the easiest ways to build up the account is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking (or savings) account to the Christmas Club Account on a regular basis — weekly, monthly or bimonthly. (You can also set it up as a payroll deduction.)
There are no fees for early withdrawal from the Christmas Club Account. There’s also no fee for closing the account early.
If you started this type of account now and put money into it regularly, you would receive a check on October 31, 2016 with the entire amount of money you’ve saved up in the account. That way you could hit the stores knowing that you’re using money you’ve set aside for the holidays instead of relying on credit cards.
How much should you try to save in your Christmas Club Account? That answer varies widely depending on your gift-buying list, but most shoppers say they plan to spend an average of $861 for gifts during the holidays this year, according to the “30th Annual Survey on Holiday Spending,” conducted by the American Research Group, Inc.
January is typically a tough month for many people because they’re faced with high credit card bills or a low checking account balance. A Christmas Club Account helps eliminate or minimize both of these problems.
If budgeting for this year’s holiday is already stressing you out, give yourself the gift of a much more peaceful holiday in 2016. Talk to a banker and open a Christmas Club Account. By this time next year, you’ll feel like a very smart saver and shopper.
Jennifer Adase has 15 years of banking experience and serves as the Operations Supervisor for the Pinnacle Branch for First National Bank of NWA. She plays a pivotal role in organizing community centered events for the FNBNWA team and volunteers her own time to several NWA charities. Jennifer is a fan of the outdoors and loves to watch Razorback sports with her husband Frank and daughter Brooklyn.