So, it’s the beginning of March and I’m going to ask you to think about holidays. Specifically, I’d like for you to think about the last holiday season. Were you able to buy the gifts for everyone that you wanted or needed to? Did you host Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner? Did you have a budget? Did you go overboard? Did you put it all on a credit card? Are you still paying off the balance of that credit card?
I’d like for you to think about next the next holiday season. Would you like to be able to pay for everything in cash, keep to a budget and not have a balance on your credit card that lasts into the spring?
I give you the Holiday Club account! For those of you who don’t know, most banks and credit unions offer an account that you can contribute to throughout the year to save for the holidays. The beauty of the “Holiday Club” is that you cannot withdraw the money from the account during the year. It’ll be automatically transferred to your checking account sometime before the holidays. Our bank transfers the money on October 1st but the date differs depending on the institution.
I set up an automatic transfer from our checking account to our holiday club account every payday. To determine that amount, Andrea and I agreed to an amount we would spend on each person we buy for, added in the Christmas Eve dinner (including wine, beer and Manhattan ingredients) and divided that sum by 26 (the number of times we get paid a year. Your number may be different depending on how often you get paid or when you start saving). Come the holiday shopping season, we know we’ll have enough money to pay for everything in cash and have a relatively stress free holiday.
Help alleviate some of the stress of your holiday season, plan now and budget for it. It’s really quite simple.