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Christmas is just around the corner and our annual festive splurging is starting to step up. However, research from American Express suggests that households are expected to spend just over £1,200 on Christmas this year, and many are wondering why they didn't put more money aside for the festivities. Well, it may be too late to start saving for this year's festive spend, but it's never too early to start for next year's!
Be prepared with a regular saver
It may seem a little premature to start thinking about Christmas 2019, particularly as we're yet to enjoy this year's festivities, but a bit of forward planning could pay dividends in a year's time – and if you start saving into a regular savings account
, you could maximise the benefits even further.
Many of the best regular savings deals are fixed for 12 months, which means that, if you start now, your savings account will mature just in time for next year's festive spending spree. Better yet, you won't suddenly find yourself without enough cash to cover the cost of all that Christmas shopping, which could go a long way to reducing stress at this time of year.
The table below outlines the top accounts available in the sector and shows just how much you could have to spend in a year's time if you saved £50 or £150 a month:
|Company||Account||Rate (AER)||Savings at maturity if £50 is invested every month for 1 year||Savings at maturity if £150 is invested every month for 1 year|
|Saffron BS||12 Month Fixed Rate Regular Saver (Iss 3)||3.50%||£611.32||£1,833.95|
|Virgin Money||Regular Saver Issue 13||3.00%||£609.71||£1,829.12|
|Kent Reliance||1 Year Regular Savings - Issue 3||3.00%||£609.71||£1,829.12|
|Monmouthshire BS||Regular Saver Bond - Issue 2||2.50%||£608.09||£1,824.28|
|Yorkshire BS||Monthly Regular Saver Issue 2||2.50%||£608.09||£1,824.28|
|Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk||Compiled 11/12/2018|
As you can see, the savings can quickly add up. By putting just £50 a month into Saffron Building Society's regular savings account, for example, you could be well on your way to covering the cost of the average household Christmas spend – and if you squirrel away even more you could even surpass that total, giving you more than enough to indulge in a few extra treats from Santa.
Get in the habit
Regular savings accounts can be perfect for this kind of goal, as they'll give you the discipline you need to save consistently by encouraging monthly deposits. Some deals will even charge penalties should you miss a monthly payment, so in those cases, there's no option but to get in the habit. However, you needn't worry about the amounts required: monthly payments can vary from a minimum of just £1 and tend to top out at around £500, letting you save as much or as little as you can afford. You can often amend your deposits throughout the year, too, so there'll be something to suit all budgets.
Not only that, but the potential returns on offer will make it all worthwhile; by opening a regular savings account, you could enjoy some of the highest rates of interest available, with the top rates far surpassing anything else in the market and often being one of the few ways you can match or beat inflation. Some providers even offer loyalty rates if you hold a current account with them – up to 5% in some cases – so you could earn even more.
However, it's important to be aware of the limitations. To curb any temptation to dip into your pot before it matures, many accounts charge a hefty interest penalty for withdrawals, and you'll also need to ensure that you can commit to the monthly payment in case you're penalised for missed deposits. This can be easily avoided by setting up a direct debit, however, and if you're committed to building up your pot, hopefully the withdrawal restrictions won't put too much of a dampener on things.
Above all, it's about being prepared, and by getting into the habit now, you could build up a nice chunk of cash for next year's festivities.
Check out the top regular savings accounts and see if you can build a healthy savings pot in time for Christmas 2019
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