Force yourself to save by regularly setting aside small amounts of money. Starting now, if you saved $10/week until mid-November, you'd have over $150 for Christmas shopping! Here's how one of our staff members started using a Christmas Club account:
"I've never been ready for Christmas before. Every year in November I start panicking, looking for a second job, wondering how I'm going to be able to afford all that the holidays entails. After struggling through Christmas once again, I swore I'd do things differently this next year. So in January I went to my bank and opened a free Christmas Club account.
"Every time a paycheck gets deposited, $20 is automatically transferred from my checking account to my Christmas account. For me, $20 is a lot of money! But because it's done as soon as my paycheck is deposited, I really don't notice that I'm having to get by without that amount.
"I am a spender, not a saver. So it's really a challenge for me to put money aside for later. But because it's done automatically and in small amounts, it's been easier for me to prepare little by little over a longer period of time. In fact, by the end of October, I'm going to have $440 in my Christmas account!
"Ordinarily, I'd be tempted to withdraw some money early because I might see something I 'need.' But if I try to take money out before November, my bank will charge me $30 just for making an early withdrawal. That penalty fee is like a little slap on the hand to keep me in line. I'm not going to be willing to give up $30 like that, so I'm not going to be making any early withdrawals unless it's a true emergency!
"This year, as Christmas approaches, I haven't felt any of the fear or dread that I'm used to! I don't have to worry about how I'm going to afford presents, parties, traveling, or any other holiday costs. And once the new year arrives, I won't have to deal with holiday debt on my credit card. Christmas 2013 is going to be incredible!"
For more information on participating in a Christmas Club, click here.