Just to show how powerful automatic savings plans are, I just checked the balance of my retirement account yesterday after avoiding it since the stock market tanked. It's three times as big! I did a quadruple take! Who knew?! :)
This reminded me that it's almost time to set up my automatic Christmas savings account. If you didn't read this blog last year, in August I set up an automatic savings withdrawl from my regular checking to my ING savings account. Every payday. money would be automatically transferred. This worked well because a) it was automatic, b) it coincided with my annual raise so I didn't notice the difference and c) at Christmas time I had cash to spend, rather than charge anything.