Whatever Happened To The Christmas Club?
There was a time when it seemed like everyone had a layaway at a local department store or a “Christmas Club” for the holidays. This is how many people saved money to pay for their holiday gifts each year. So why don’t we hear about them so much anymore?
Layaway programs are becoming harder to find, with very few still in existence. In fact, Walmart (one of the last remaining big layaway retailers) just officially ended their layaway program as of 2021 after several years of uncertainty from consumers (and Walmart itself) about whether or not there would be a layaway that year. Overall, most retailers have done away with layaways completely, with others shifting towards online “buy now, pay later” programs through third-parties and credit companies.
Christmas Clubs, or club accounts in general, have survived, but not as many people take advantage of them as they used to. With the evolution of different savings tools and the increase in credit card usage and store credit, club accounts have lost some points on the popularity scale for sure. However, the evolution of digital technology and the changing needs of consumers have transformed the simplicity and security of the traditional club account into an attractive, modern savings tool for the financially savvy.
Naturally, people started opening club accounts to save for other purposes, so your All-Purpose Club Account can be a “Christmas Club” but it doesn’t have to be. Club accounts are a great way to set aside money for anything! The amount you deposit into your account is up to you, so you can deposit as much or as little as you’d like. You can open a club account to save for an annual tax bill, a vacation, a down payment on a vehicle, or many other things. Club accounts are a savings tool to help you save towards ANY goal.
One of the best features of today’s club accounts is the ease of making your deposits. With advances in digital technology, you don’t actually have to visit the bank to make your deposits anymore. You don’t even have to have to remember to make them. Once you open a club account you can set up free direct deposit so the money comes right out of your paycheck and gets deposited into your club account each payday. You can decide how much and how often.
You can always visit a branch, whether it’s in the lobby or the drive thru, but you also have the option to do it online or from a mobile app. Many banks offer these digital services. At Citizens Savings Bank, we offer a Free Mobile Banking App and Free Online Banking for our savings and Club Accounts, so you can manage your accounts and make deposits effortlessly, from anywhere.
Not all club accounts do, but some accrue interest, so on top of what you’re able to set aside you can earn a little extra. Account options will vary from one bank to the next, but at Citizens Savings Bank, you can open a club account with a withdrawal date of January, April, June, August, or October. You may be able to take money out of your account before the withdrawal date, but there will most likely be a small fee. This may seem like a negative if you open an account thinking you may need to take money out before you should, but it’s actually a great deterrent to keep you from benefiting from making all of your deposits and earning interest for the greatest length of time. At CSB, you can make one withdrawal without paying a fee. This will vary from bank to bank.
If you’re looking to add a new tool to your savings strategy, start with a club account! Your bank will be able to help you decide on a withdrawal date and discuss your personal savings goals to help set you up for success. There is always someone to Citizens Savings Bank ready to help discuss your financial goals, whether they’re long-term or short-term, right around the corner or several years away. Contact us anytime or stop at any of our convenient branch locations.
Citizens Savings Bank has multiple locations throughout Lackawanna, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. For branch locations and hours, visit our website. We also have a Customer Support Team ready to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1-800-692-6279 or email [email protected]. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.