The Easter Savings Club

 Wikipedia has this to say about Christmas Clubs:

The Christmas club is a savings program that was first offered by various banks during the Great Depression. The concept is that bank customers deposit a set amount of money each week into a special savings account, and receive the money back at the end of the year for Christmas shopping.

Christmas clubs have fallen by the wayside in recent years, largely replaced by credit cards – why pay all year for next year’s Christmas when you can pay all year for last year’s Christmas instead?  There is an interesting footnote in Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein that, though Christmas clubs have fallen out of favor, an Easter Savings Account still remains popular:

“Although Christmas clubs have become unpopular, most Americans still make use of a non-interest bearing savings vehicle that might be called the Easter account.  Three-quarters of Americans get refunds when they file their tax return, with the average refund being more than two thousand dollars.  If these refunds were described as interest-free loans to the government, they would probably not be so popular.  Although taxpayers could adjust their withholding rates to reduce the size of their refund, and in principle could earn interest on these funds throughout the year, many prefer to get the refund as a way of being forced to save.  When the refund comes, it feels like a windfall.”

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