MADISON, Wis. (12/31/07)--Credit unions looking to help their members avoid holiday spending hangovers should encourage them to set money aside in Christmas Club accounts for next year’s holiday season. USA Today has cited Credit Union National Association (CUNA) statistics about credit unions offering the accounts. With Christmas Club or similar holiday club accounts, credit unions deduct select amounts from members’ paychecks and set the money aside in a separate fund that can be used for holiday spending. Alberto and Marta Zamora, members of Landmark CU in New Berlin, Wis., set aside $70 per month for their Christmas Club account earlier this year. The money was automatically deducted from their paychecks. In October, the money was transferred to their checking account so the couple could start shopping. The clubs are “convenient,” and the couple “doesn’t have to worry” about buying presents for family because they’ve already saved for the Christmas season, Alberto Zamora told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Dec. 11). An article published Friday in USA Today also emphasized the benefits of credit unions' Christmas Club accounts. The article cited the CUNA as saying three-quarters of the nation’s credit unions offer the accounts. The average consumer planned to spend $923.26 this year, according to BIGresearch and the National Retail Federation. If consumers set money aside for the holidays through Christmas Club accounts, they can “have a debt-free Christmas next year,” Gail Cunningham, spokesman for the National Foundation of Credit Counseling, told the newspaper.