Monday Money Minute: Christmas in July

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2010
Monday Money Minute: Christmas in July
11
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 8:46am

Merry Christmas!!!


Is that greeting a surprise? Well, plan ahead for holiday giving now and you won't be surprised in December.


Holiday giving is a big source of January debt for many of us. It's almost like people don't budget for gifts. (WHAT?!) If we start budgeting now, we can all start 2011 without a holiday hangover

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2008
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 10:53am

I we don't have a "Christmas Club." And I haven't seen any ads yet. But we do have...


A Christmas Envelope!!! We put 50 back each month for the holidays. Which is more than enough. Though with the new LO on the way next year we will up it to 75 a month. For the Little ones, I use it to buy them stuff they need, car seats/high chair. Next christmas we will have to get another a converitable car seat so christmas money will be towards that.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2005
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 12:41pm

I occasionally see a Christmas club advertisement at Sears and two of the credit unions we use have them as well.


I have a Christmas envelope and I'm going to start putting in 20 a payday.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 5:17pm

I think it's great to think ahead for Christmas and other holidays too. For many years...I'm pretty sure Ive done this now for the last 17 years....I have a set amount each pay that goes towards savings bonds. It's great because it's an automatic payroll deduction I can change the amount every November and I can take it out when I need it(it takes about 5 business days to get the money direct deposited into my account). The interest isn't the best on these bonds but it saves me a lot of headaches throughout the year. I always have plenty of money in there to cover birthdays, showers, weddings and Christmas.

This to me it's worth it. Peace of mind and no last minute scrambling to make the budget balance for the month because you got a last minute wedding invitation or you have a new addition to your Christmas list.

Nathalie

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2004
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 5:17pm


Yes! I found a savings club today when I was searching online. Toys R Us seems to be running a Christmas Savers club this year. I'm not sure if this is new or not, but I don't remember hearing about it in past years. It looks like you just go into the store, sign up, and they give you a Savers Card (looks like a gift card, I guess) that you can deposit funds onto. The funds have to be added, also, in the store, and not online. However, anything that you put on the card between now and October 16th (up to a maximum amount of 2500) will earn a 3% bonus! The bonus funds will be added to your card between October 16th and October 31st. After October 31st, you can use the card at any Toys R Us and Babies R Us, just like using a gift card. There are no fees and no expiration dates. So any funds you don't use this year, you can use next year for birthday gifts, birthday party gifts for playmates or nephews, nieces, etc.

I'm going to sign up for it. I'm not planning to spend a lot of money this holiday season, but if they're going to give me an extra 3%, with no fees or anything else, then I can see the benefit of it. My son will always have birthday parties to attend next year, and we've got some friends with babies on the way, so I can see the plusses. :-) The only "catch" for me would be if they had something on the application form that seemed odd, like asking for a social security number or anything like that. I'd probably walk away if they asked for something like that. I'll definitely check it out, though, probably tomorrow or Wednesday. :-)

Here's the link to the TRU website where it mentions the Savers Club:
http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=3920494

Pat

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2004
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 8:38pm


Hmmm...I've had some time to think about the Toys R Us savings club, and now I'm wondering....is it really a good deal? Sure, I get 3% bonus dollars, but I'm stuck shopping at only Toys R Us with that money. I'm wondering if I couldn't get my gifts at a better price somewhere else (Walmart? Amazon.com? Target?) and still be 3% under Toys-R-Us's prices...making their 3% bonus worthless to me.

I really have to give this some more thought. At first, it seemed like such a great deal, but then I wondered if it was a rip-off because Toys R Us could raise their prices or run out of an item that I want, and then I'd be stuck. Also, with this savings club, I'd be giving up my chance to compare prices, and I love to hunt for the best deal.

Hmmm....

Pat :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2010
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 9:21pm
Ooh, those are all good points! I have to agree with you there. 3% isn't a big enough incentive. If you put in $300, they'll give you a whole $9. "High risk, low reward," as my DH would say. Thanks for the info!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2004
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 10:03pm


Exactly. I know that my son loves video games, but there was one that he really really wanted last year, and he wanted it so much that when he opened it, he literally started to cry happy tears because he was so surprised....but I bought it at Walmart, and with the purchase of it, they gave me a $20 e-gift certificate that I could use at Walmart for other gifts/purchases. So his $49.98 game ended up only costing me $29.98, and I had $20 to put towards another gift recipient on my list. That surely beats the little 3% that Toys R Us is offering. I imagine Walmart will make those same deals this year.

pat

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 9:48am

I've never pruchased anything at Toys R Us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2010
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 12:18pm

I have to stick up for TRU. They have really good Black Friday deals.


And their clearance is really great! I just bought Will a stack of winter clothes for $63! I took a picture of it, because it was such a great bargain. And because I'm a weirdo.


Here's my $63 TRU stack:


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2006
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 6:19pm

Pat,


I think you are correct to re-think the TRU Savings plan.

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