With another festive season over, Christmas 2024 may be the last thing on your mind. However, it’s never too soon to start saving for next Christmas. In fact, it’s good practice to put away money throughout the year, as this could help reduce some of the financial pressure come December.
There are many different types of savings accounts to choose from, which suit a variety of needs and circumstances. If you’re planning to save in advance for Christmas by putting money aside little and often, the best account for you could be a regular savings account.
What is a regular savings account?
A regular savings account is a type of account that will often require you to make monthly additions to your pot. While they usually come with a number of restrictions, if you follow the rules correctly, these accounts can offer higher returns than other savings vehicles – making your money stretch a little further.
Like all savings accounts, the rate of interest you receive will either be fixed or variable. A fixed-rate regular savings account means the interest rate won’t change throughout the duration of the account term. However, in some instances, this might also mean you won’t be able to withdraw any funds until the term ends.
If you’re considering opening a fixed regular savings account to save for Christmas 2024, make sure it allows you to withdraw some of your savings before the end of term, as a one-year bond opened now won’t mature (and therefore give you access to your cash) until January 2025.
With a variable rate regular savings account, the rate of interest you’ll earn may change or over time. Although a variable account may currently be offering competitive returns, keep in mind this rate could increase or decrease over the year.
What are the rules and restrictions?
As mentioned, regular savings accounts can come with a strict set of criteria to follow. Some will ask you to specify a set amount to add to your account each month and by what means, while others allow you to change your monthly contribution and payment method. Most, though, will impose a minimum and maximum amount that can be saved.
Furthermore, certain regular savings accounts require you to make a minimum number of monthly deposits over a set period of time and will impose a penalty for any missed payments. These penalties will usually be a deduction from the interest you’ll be paid and/or your account being switched to another, lower-paying account. An account specifying you need to make a minimum of 12 monthly payments before making a withdrawal, or to qualify for the headline rate, may not be best suited to saving for Christmas 2024.
Similarly, loss of interest penalties may also be applied when it comes to making withdrawals.
Although they may appear daunting, these restrictions can enforce a good regular savings habit and deter you from dipping into your funds throughout the year. Used correctly and consistently, a regular savings account could help you build a considerable pot in time for Christmas 2024. Just make sure you fully understand, and can meet, any terms and conditions before opening an account.
To compare the top regular savings accounts available, visit moneyfactscompare.co.uk.
Ella Mower, Content Writer for Moneyfactscompare.co.uk