Do you remember those days when you would look under your mattress and bring out your Christmas club savings bank book? It’s been awhile for most of us, but I still recall those days. My friends and I would go to the bank and withdraw money to do our holiday shopping with these funds. This Xmas club savings account was a life savior to us at that time. 

Well, I remember those days like yesterday, and it was good to have a Xmas account as you didn’t worry like we do today about where we are going to get money to buy gifts.

In those days, many of the banks would have these special accounts set up for the purpose of allowing consumers to save for the holiday season. You were able to start putting away money on a monthly basis, and in doing so, you were assured that you would have money to spend in December. 

After you made your deposits, these funds would not be touched until December 15, of each year. You also would receive interest on these funds, and although it was a small amount, you got something and it was more than you had before.

However, in participating in this process, it also introduced me to this valuable lesson about learning how to save on a regular basis. Most people at that time had a problem in saving money to do holiday shopping and this was a solution for that problem

In seeing this plan in action, and see how fast money would accumulate by not touching it, I recall telling myself that I would also start to save beyond the Xmas holiday. if I did, that would be good for me and enable me to save for the future.  

This type of routine saving, this was a very important concept to adopt at that time, as most people who I knew, they lived their lives, day by day. Saving for a rainy day was not part of their agenda. Most people would spend their money as soon as they had received it so their money never lasted long.

I’m sorry to report that some of those people who I knew back then are still doing the same, spending as soon as possible. It’s ashamed that they didn’t learn anything from those days. The teachers and the other people who introduced the idea of saving to me, they tried to help them also, but they didn’t receive it, and I’m sure there are some people today, who won’t receive it now.

However, we learned that we could start our Xmas club account with as little as $ 5-7 per week to open a savings account. In allowing small amounts to be deposited to open your Xmas savings account, this was a terrific opportunity for people if they wanted to start.  After making my weekly deposits, and seeing the figures on my bankbook go up, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t on my way towards being rich.

As I continued to save and read about the banking process, I learned that the banking institutions are all about receiving funds on a regular basis, whether it’s from you and me or from our others.  I didn’t know until I got older, that banks uses our deposits to help build our local communities. Did you know that it’s a banking regulatory requirement that a certain portion of your deposits must be allocated to the people in your neighborhood? In doing so, your deposits are contributing to building up your community by providing loans and other services to the people who live in your community.

Now let me get back to the positive impact it is in having  a Xmas club savings accounts. In starting to save money when you are young, you get a different perspective about money. If you wanted something for yourselves, you understood that if you saved your money for a certain period, you would have the money for your personal transaction. Prior to having these savings accounts, we looked to our parents to get these special things for us, and if they didn’t have it, you were out of luck.

In establishing these Xmas club savings account, we also were taught that saving money was the first step in learning how to build our wealth.  The more we were able to save, the quicker our wealth would rise. Additionally, to a person like me who didn’t have any knowledge of having a saving account prior to opening a Xmas club account, I had a new  outlook on life. For the people who knew me, I always kept my money hidden underneath the floor mats or under the mattress. I did it so often that I sometimes forgot where I had put the money.

In learning to put my money into the bank for safe keeping, it was something new for me.  All of a sudden my tomorrow was no longer bleak, and in my eyes, the sky was the limit for me. All I had to do was to keep on saving my pennies until they grew into dollars.  I can safely state that the funds that I have today (it’s not much, but it’s all mine – smile) and the knowledge about the positive effects of regularly saving came to me because I was introduced to a Xmas club savings account.

In closing, some of the things that we did back in my day, in regards to learning about money and how to set up yourselves in the future, this was great for us. It helped us grasp the understanding that we needed to be serious in our actions about saving our money if we wanted to have funds in case of an emergency.  The idea of opening these Xmas club accounts, this was our starting point. The idea that you can begin by saving a little at a time, and continue to do, this would eventually add up.  And if you kept on adding money to this bank account over time, you could build a nice nest egg for yourselves.

Finally, as you grow up and make more money and continue to save, you would always have some money in the bank. As I grew up to become an adult, this process stuck with me and I’m glad that I followed that blueprint. I’m now advising my children and whoever would listen to do the same because, in life, things will happen to you whether you want them or not. If you don’t have any funds put away, you are like walking in a minefield, you don’t know when one of those mines will explode. I sincerely hope that this explosion doesn’t happen to you,as it can change your life.