Welcome to the Farm!!

Welcome to the Farm!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Clubs

Whatever happened to Christmas Club accounts? Do you remember those? You’d put a little money aside in a special bank account all year and received your savings plus a little interest just in time to go Christmas shopping. Do any of the banks do that any more?

My theory is that credit cards killed the Christmas clubs. Somewhere along the way we went from having money to spend to spending money we didn’t have.

If you’re like me, you lose track of plastic money. It’s not real and comes with zero accountability, including that debit card directly attached to the bank account. However, put cash in my wallet, and I’m much more careful about my spending. That cash in hand is personal. I have to touch it, and I can visibly see its limitations. There’s no room for fudging an extra $5 here or $10 there simply because it’s in the account. I run out of cash, I’m done spending.

I also like dealing with cash because it’s easier for me to set aside a little each week to pay the bills or save up for something big than for me to try to keep track of it in the account. The money comes in and gets sorted among various envelopes labeled with the purpose for the money along with the goal amount.

After a lovely and over-the-top Christmas that really pushed the limits of our budget, I decided it was time to revisit the Christmas club idea. Even though banks don’t offer Christmas club accounts anymore, I can still place an envelope in the safe and put money in it every week. I don’t get any interest, but the money is tucked away safely and isn’t easily accessible to cover foolish impulse purchases.

How funny that the same day that I mentioned wanting to create my own Christmas club account to my husband, I saw this chart on Facebook:

I wish I could tell you who originally posted it, but this chart has changed hands so many times that I’m not sure anyone knows where it originated. However, it’s brilliant! If you can’t pick a specific amount to put away every week between now and Christmas, try the schedule on the chart. Can you imagine the debt-free Christmas you’ll have next year?! Very exciting!

By the way, I think it would be easier to do the chart backwards. As it is, you're putting more away during the weeks leading up to Christmas. If you go backwards, it only gets easier!

Thanks for stopping by! For the record, my husband and I do not have any credit cards. We only spend the money we have. Unfortunately, without a lot of discipline, it’s easy to spend money allotted for something else if it’s all in the same account. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put away a decent amount of money for next Christmas by starting now. Think of it this way: Even a couple of dollars a week will add up to more that you would have if you didn’t put any aside!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


  1. We still have Christmas accounts here at the local bank on Martha's Vineyard :) Lots of ladies I know start new ones religiously right after the Holidays. It's exciting to see what a little each week an add up to.

  2. My dad used to do a christmas club every year and then would take the money and roll it into an IRA . Did this every year for more that 25 years. Good luck with your venture.

  3. We don't do Christmas gifts. Doesn't make sense for us to get gifts on Jesus' birthday:) However, we do this for birthdays and we always have money to spend when needed.

  4. My credit union has a Christmas Account program. It's a really neat idea and they have a very well-planned system for it.

  5. My bank and credit union both have Christmas Club accounts but I havent had one in years..
    I budget my money differently than most and it works for me.
    I have different checking/saving accounts for different purposes and they are only used for that specific purpose.
    I've been doing this for about 13 years now & it works beautifully for me which is awesome. I dont keep too much cash on hand though I should probably start one of these days. When some of our kids were younger they had sticky hands.. all are gone from home now, except for the stickiest but I think he's good these days.. Im afraid to find out. ;) Have a great day!

  6. I love this idea. I just printed it out and started for my first week. Funny I have never read your blog before...what perfect timing!



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