The holiday season should be a time of joy. But it also can be a time of financial stress. Let's face it, when the bills come due, all those gifts to buy and guests to host can play havoc with the family budget.

The solution, of course, is to start saving early. To make sure your holiday season is as joyful as possible, you may want to open a high yield savings account with a rate of return that helps your money grow quickly. Kathleen Dollard, a Certified Financial Planner® at Nashoba Financial Planning in Boxborough, Massachusetts, says that's why—when her clients are looking for a place to get the best interest rates for their cash savings—"I recommend they keep their money in an Internet bank."

Dollard is one of many financial experts to note that some of the best rates can be found at online banks, which don't have the expense of maintaining physical branches and can pass along that savings in the form of competitive interest rates. The Ally Bank Online Savings Account, for instance, offers rates that are among the most competitive in the country. These high yield savings accounts come with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance to open. It's one thing to make a savings plan for the holidays; it's another thing to stick to it. You may want to consider setting up an automatic deposit or transfer to a savings account or separate holiday savings account.

And, while you're in the holiday spirit, you also might want to consider setting up a custodial savings account for a child. This is an account managed by a designated adult for a child until he or she reaches 18 or 21 years of age (state laws vary). You'll want to do your homework to make sure you understand the rules governing custodial accounts. But savings accounts can be a great way to teach children the value of saving and the powerful effect of compound interest. Do that, and you'll be giving them a holiday gift that lasts longer than any toy.

Explore your savings options at or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.

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