Strategies When Saving for Holiday Gifts

By Mary Jo Healey, Market Manager in Des Moines, Marine Credit Union

holiday shopping smallThe holidays can be expensive, especially the gifts. So why not plan for it year-round?! Saving a small amount periodically throughout the year can make it very easy and much less stressful at the end of the year. Spend holiday occasions enjoying time with your family and friends, instead of worrying about how you are going to pay for giving.

Follow these steps to get started!

  1. Decide who you would like to give gifts to and how much you can afford to spend on each person.
  2. Determine an affordable, grand total for the gifts.
  3. Take that total and divide by how many pay periods you have before the holidays, or how often you want to make that transfer: monthly, semi-monthly, every other week, weekly, etc.
  4. Open a specific savings account for this purpose only.
    1. You will be less tempted to tap into this account for other things if you know it is designated to holiday gifts.
    2. Inquire with your financial about specific holiday savings accounts. If they do not offer that option, open a regular savings account, but ear mark it for the holidays.
    3. Find out the specifics about the savings account.
      1. Some only allow you to withdraw one time per year.
      2. Are there fees associated with this account?
      3. Are there early withdrawal fees?

Transfer these funds automatically into that account. If you try to do it manually each time, you may forget or feel you can’t afford it that pay period. You can do this through an Automatic Clearing House (ACH) payment, auto transfer from another account or payroll deduction.

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