You have most likely heard of the old Christmas Card Clubs. Well, there are some new sites out there that let you save for something specific you want. You can save for a specific goal with a free account at Smartypig.com.
I have not yet opened an account, but it was referenced in my BottomLine publication, so I am sure it has been properly vetted :o)
Here is how it works: Sign up, describe what you're saving for and when you want it, and the free service will suggest a savings plan to be automatically deducted from your existing checking or savings account. You know what they say, pay yourself first!!!
You can keep your account private or open it up to contributions from friends and family toward a group birthday, wedding, graduation, or other gift.
Once you reach your goal, you can transfer the money into your main account or put it on a gift card. Best yet, deposits earn a 3.9% annual percentage yield :o)
We have started saving for the 2012 Superbowl and 2016 Olympics, and I will be investigating SmartyPig accounts to facilitate the process.