As Christmas 2007 fades into the distance, you may be too scared to check just how much you actually spent, and regret not having put a plan in place before you flexed your plastic. But just because it may have been too late to have prepared yourself financially for the festive season, doesn't mean you can't start preparing for Christmas 2008 today. Opening up a Christmas savings account really can be a great way to make sure your money is safe and secure until it's time to go shopping.
The collapse of the Farepak scheme last year left literally thousands of people out of pocket. In response, the Post Office's Christmas Club savings account lets you make deposits at any of the 14,000 Post Office branches across the country. Upon opening the account you will be issued with a Christmas Club card which you can use to make deposits over the counter.
The minimum single deposit will be £5, and the maximum individual payment £500, up to a total of £1,000 in savings, per card, per annum. Be warned that you won't be paid any interest, and you will not be able to access the money until November - the whole purpose of the account is to remove the temptation to spend it! Once you can get access to your funds you'll be given a pre-paid card to use at a wide range of retailers in the high street, including, Debenhams, Thorntons, TopShop, Woolworths, WH Smith and Boots.
If a traditional savings account is more your cup of tea, there are a wide range of Christmas savings accounts available:
But if you do have the discipline not to touch your Christmas money, opening up an Individual Savings Account (ISA) will see your savings grow at the expense of the taxman. With an ISA, the more you are able to save, the more interest you will make completely tax-free!
As you are probably aware, Christmas really is an expensive time of year, and by planning early you can maximise the value of your savings without having to resort to credit cards, loans or other high risk saving schemes to get you through the festive season. Why not check out our savings accounts best buys and get your Christmas 2008 plans in order today, before you forget.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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