It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? While many people love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season -- shopping for gifts, decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, and family traditions -- it’s easy to get stressed out. Whether it’s your holiday budget or something else causing the stress, sometimes it feels hard to keep your head above water during December.
Keep reading to learn how to get ready for this year’s holiday season -- and how an Academy Bank Express Loan* could even help.
1. Develop Your Holiday Budget Having a budget
is important any time of the year, but the holidays are one time when it’s easy to let your spending get out of control.
Many Americans find the holidays the most financially stressful time of the year. Gift-giving, travel, holiday meals and more can all add up. If you haven’t worked these holiday expenses into your budget, you might feel like your wallet is really taking a hit.
Remember: a thoughtful gift can be worth a lot more than an expensive gift. Luckily, a good thoughtful gift can be done in a variety of ways -- for example, homemade gifts can be great options for grandparents, teachers, or other valued relationships in our lives. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to spend a lot to show how much you care.
2. Start Shopping Early “Shop early”
was an oft-repeated mantra during the 2021 holiday season due to the supply chain issues plaguing almost every industry. While the situation may not be quite as extreme this year, starting your shopping early is a great way to reduce holiday stress.
For example, let’s say you find the perfect gift… but today is December 14, which means there’s just over a week until Christmas. Shipping delays or out-of-stock items can put a damper on that Christmas morning joy if the item you ordered hasn’t arrived yet. If you’d placed your order on December 4, on the other hand, Christmas morning could be smooth sailing.
Additionally, it’s easier to enjoy the last few weeks leading up to the holiday if you aren’t still stressing about what gifts you need to buy. And it can also give you time to look for deals that may not be available as the holidays get closer.
By planning ahead, you’ll likely be able to find ways to save money on holiday gifts. Even if the savings seem small, they can really add up and help you stay within your budget.
3. Don’t Do Anything Just Because You Feel Like You Should
Social media can put a lot of pressure on us to display our “perfect” lives. And this pressure only increases during the holidays. Kids getting their pictures taken with Santa. Holiday light displays with the family. A cold trek in the snow to cut down the perfect Christmas tree.
Everyone else is doing it. But how will you fit all those things into your busy schedule -- between the holiday party at work, your son’s choir concert, and your daughter’s basketball tournament? Oh, and not to mention, making enough cookies for all the teachers at your kids’ school?
Remember that it’s OK to pass on certain holiday traditions if they’re causing you more stress than holiday cheer.
4. Get the Cash You Need with an Academy Bank Express Loan*
If some extra cash could go a long way toward improving your holiday season this year, look no further than an Academy Bank Express Loan
An Academy Bank Express Loan is a personal loan that gives you access to the cash you need without breaking your budget.* No more resorting to high-interest lenders like payday lending offices helps ensure that your funds go where you need them.
Features of the Academy Bank Express Loan include:
- Loan amount of $1,250
- Low credit scores considered with a satisfactory account relationship of at least 6 months with us
- A great alternative to high-interest, short-term lenders like payday lending offices
- Automated payments so you'll never miss one
- Fixed terms and monthly payments to simplify your budget
Here’s what else you should know:
- There is a $35 non-refundable application fee on Express Loan accounts.
- Direct deposit is required.
- We recommend applying for this loan once you've been with us for 6 months. That way, we can consider your account relationship with us in lieu of good credit.
Academy Bank Wishes You Happy and Healthy Holidays
No matter what holidays your family observes, Academy Bank is working hard to help you celebrate. If you’re looking for a partner in your personal finance journey, we provide convenient options for savings accounts, checking accounts, and more. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!