Dupaco members with a Holiday Club account saved a record $4,229,730 for the giving season, outpacing last year’s total by nearly $227,000.
The savings, plus accumulated dividends, were automatically deposited to more than 4,000 members’ checking or share savings accounts Oct. 30.
“When you save throughout the year, it’s a lot less stressful during the holiday season, because your holiday spending money is already there,” says Megan Redmond, branch manager at Dupaco’s Covenant branch in Waterloo, Iowa. “Many times, after members have used the Holiday Club, they increase their savings each year, because they don’t even miss the money.”
With the National Retail Federation forecasting record-breaking holiday spending this year, here’s how you can make the most of your Holiday Club cash:
- Create a budget. Look back at how much you’ve spent during the past few holiday seasons, and determine whether that amount still fits into your overall budget. Make any necessary adjustments before you start shopping.
- Make a list, and check it twice. Avoid impulse buys by making a list of everyone you want to buy for, how much you will spend on each recipient and what you will buy. Don’t forget stocking stuffers, cards and postage, donations, holiday parties, travel and holiday baking. It all adds up. “A lot of people overspend during the holidays,” Redmond says. “Knowing what you’re buying and seeing that list on paper before you shop can be eye-opening.”
- Shop around. Once you know what you’re buying, shop around for the best deals. PC Magazine likes these price-comparison shopping apps, while nationally syndicated consumer expert Clark Howard offers his own list of favorite free deal-finding apps. Don’t forget to watch for free shipping promotions.
- Be money ahead for next year. If you don’t have a Holiday Club account, now is a great time to open an account for the next holiday season. You can set up automatic weekly or biweekly deposits, and the balance will be automatically deposited into your checking or share savings account at the end of October. “When it’s automatic, you tend to forget about it, and your savings grow out of sight, out of mind,” Redmond says.
By Emily Kittle