Earlier this month, I stopped into a local store to get some back to school supplies for my children, and quickly discovered several aisles of Christmas décor and gift ideas. It seems that the countdown to Christmas arrives sooner every year.

While I love Christmas, taking the time to slow down to savor that special time of year, and focus on the true meaning is harder when I don’t feel prepared. As most parents would agree, one of my favorite parts about Christmas is when my loved ones open their presents with big smiles on their faces. One of the ways I can enjoy these smiles even more is to know that I’ve stayed within my budget, and properly saved to make everyone’s Christmas dreams come true.

First Southern National Bank has a Christmas Club Account that can help with your countdown to Christmas savings. By taking advantage of this account, you can ensure that you will be financially ready to grab those perfect gifts from your Christmas list when you see them. Here are five steps to make it happen:

Step 1: Build Your Gift Buying List

Your Christmas gift list can quickly get longer when you start to think about all the teachers, coaches, friends, family, and coworkers in your life.

Remember that by planning early, you can make sure that you have the budget to accommodate everyone on your list.

Step 2: Estimate the costs and set spending goals

Once you have your Christmas gift list, you can start dreaming about the perfect gift that will bring the biggest Christmas smile to your loved ones faces. This is also the perfect time to set a gift-giving goal amount. If you overspent on teacher gifts last year, make a plan to cut back!  This is where the real planning begins with a dedication to save money in advance.

Step 3: Start looking for sales

If you begin saving for Christmas now, you have plenty of time to hunt for the best sales. Many shoppers rely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but Back-to-School and Labor Day sales are also a great way to score some amazing gifts at a great price.

Step 4: Make saving easy

$5 and an existing checking or savings account is all you need to get your Christmas Club Account started. Set up a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly automatic transfer from your checking or savings account into the Christmas Club Account.

Why should you take advantage of this account? I don’t know about you, but “out of sight, out of mind” works best for me when it comes to saving. The Christmas Club at First Southern National Bank pays interest as well!

Step 5. Watch your account grow.

While accounts may be opened any time of year, the Christmas Club account pays out mid-October. This gives you plenty of time to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. With your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly transfers, you can literally watch your account grow.

Are you ready for the countdown to Christmas? Visit one of our branches to set up your Christmas Club Account today! While there, ask about our other club accounts that can help with life’s big events, like vacation and spring break!