How much did you spend on holiday shopping in 2018?
According to the National Retail Federation, the average American spent more than $1,000 on gifts last year, with a majority using credit cards.
We all know it’s hard to save — 78 percent of us live from paycheck to paycheck, and four out of ten can’t cover a $400 emergency expense. Many personal finance experts recommend using direct deposit to save a small amount from each paycheck, but it’s hard to stay disciplined when your rainy-day fund is only a click away at the ATM!
Before credit cards, everyday Americans still dreamed of showering friends and family with gifts during the holidays. In December 1909, three workers from a Pennsylvania shoe factory approached their local bank and asked to set up a short-term joint savings account to put money aside for Christmas shopping.
For fifty weeks, each worker added a penny to the account, followed by a final 50-cent deposit. Immediately before Christmas, the workers closed out their savings account and played Santa Claus for everyone on their shopping lists — without going into debt.
The next year, the bank began promoting Christmas Savings Club accounts that accepted weekly deposits of any amount, with all funds distributed immediately before the holiday. Because the deposits were small and steady, club members never felt a pinch in their paychecks.
Banks still offer short-term savings accounts, but most consumers have turned to credit cards to finance their holiday purchases. Although this makes shopping convenient, it all but guarantees a financial hangover — unless you pay off those credit card balances immediately, you may end up paying interest on those gifts until next Christmas.
If you’re still paying credit card interest on your 2018 holiday gifts, start saving up today for the 2019 holiday season with Stronghold, a financial services company. Stronghold offers its customers a “stablecoin” that’s 100% backed up by U.S. dollars held in an FDIC-insured bank account.
For each dollar your deposit, you’ll receive one Stronghold USD — when you’re ready to cash out your savings and start shopping for gifts, you can withdraw the funds and have them transferred directly to your checking account.
And unlike a traditional savings account, your money is only available via Stronghold, which means you won’t be tempted to tap into your short-term savings every time you visit an ATM!
Setting up a Stronghold account is fast and free — open your account now to start a 2019 short-term savings plan you can actually stick with!Stellar Announcements