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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Return of the Christmas Club

Many go into debt to pay for Christmas, others shop year-round. And another tradition is making a comeback this year. It's only August, but Sears and Kmart are already thinking about how our families are going to afford to throw a splendid holiday. (And, of course, how they can get some good holiday-spending numbers.)To that end they're bringing back the Christmas Club.

The new modern version saves money to a card that can be used at Sears, Kmart, The Great Indoors, MyGofer and Lands End. Best of all, on November 14 you'll get an early Christmas present from the brands. They'll add a 3 percent match to your card balance on that day, up to $100.

Also, this is cool (imho), on Kmart's Christmas club site you'll find a great tool to calculate what you'll need to save each week based on your desired holiday budget. For example, if you want $800 to spend and start saving this week, you'll begin with a $66 savings contribution.

Other noted details: 1. Need to open your account before October 31 to be eligible for the matching funds; 2. The Christmas Club card comes with no fees and has no expiration. 3. Good idea to check with your credit union or bank to see if they run a holiday savings club, and determine if their terms are preferable to the Kmart/Sears offerings, or if this is your best option. Happy (early) Holidays!



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