Is it Too Late to Start a Holiday Savings Fund?

One Christmas I asked Santa for the Dancerina Ballerina doll. Here’s a rather poor video of the doll, but it gives you a good view of the doll’s amazing (to a five-year-old anyway) talent.

I was heartbroken when I didn’t get it. Maybe that’s because I didn’t tell anyone that I wanted it other than Santa. I remember my mother pointing out that I had received many other wonderful things including a Radio Flyer sled, which was really awesome. But all I focused on was the doll. That had to be a downer for my parents who probably spent too much on presents and tried hard to make their kids happy. Sure, I still remember not getting Dancerina, but not because I was disappointed with Santa or my parents, but because I think it was stupid to be a sourpuss over a doll. Not getting the doll did not ruin me for life. I don’t remember thinking much about the doll after that but, I do remember some wild rides on the Radio Flyer.

The Holidays can be financially stressful, but it’s really what you make of it and planning reduces a lot of the pressure. It’s not too late to start a saving for the Holidays.

Christmas Savings Clubs originated in the Depression. They weren’t actually clubs, but specialty savings accounts. Savers would open a fund early in the year and contribute a regular amount, typically about $25/month. It worked almost like a short-term certificate. Savers could not take the money out until the end of the year. The clubs fell out of favor among both financial institutions sometime during the 1980s. So, while you may not be able to open an official Christmas account, you can start preparing for the season.

First, you’ve got to set a budget. Only you know what is reasonable for your situation. If you need to cut down on presents this year there are loads of ideas on alternative or no-cost gifts on the Internet.

Next, look at your overall budget and see how much you can afford to put away on a regular basis. There are 10 weeks or 64 days left until Christmas. Setting aside $25 a week would give you $250 to spend, or $5 a day would yield $320, and so on you can do the math.

The most important thing is not to jeopardize your financial health for the sake of a few minutes of happiness. Maintaining your financial health is a great gift to give your children. Avoid using credit cards to purchase gifts. Stay within in your means and you’ll also avoid the January blues.


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