Just to get off the topic here a bit, after one year of contributing to the Christmas Club, my mom said to me, "Don't worry about nice gifts. You saved that money, you should buy yourself something nice." We were at a chi-chi mall and my mom suggested that I buy myself a Chanel suit with it. I was excited that I would buy a Chanel suit with cash! But my hopes were dashed when I looked at the price tag - over $1,500! Needless to say, I didn't buy the suit. And I still haven't. I don't know why I'm bringing this up other than that every time someone mentions "Christmas Club", I'm always reminded of how my lofty dream was once crushed by the cold tsunami of reality. Ha ha.
Anyhow, I digress.
I've been doing my own Christmas Club savings through ING and my nifty Excel spreadsheet. Although I call it my own Christmas Club, it just isn't the same.
I've since discovered Smarty Pig, which is an online partner of West Bank. Smarty Pig
There's no minimum to open, but if you have a savings goal, you have to start with $25 and your goal must be at least $250. Additionally, if you have a savings goal (e.g., save $2,000 for vacation by 5/1/2011), SmartyPig will will suggest a monthly contribution that will be deducted from a designated funding source. You can make your goals "public" and invite others to help you reach your goal. (Okay, so this part is a bit tacky, but I have to admit, it's a creative twist.)
I often speculate for the highest APY so this looks promising. (I'm sure after a month or so, the rates will plummet, though.) But the best part of all, it reminds me of my good ol' Christmas Club of yore. I think I'll open an account. :-D