Have you ever felt money-related stress around the holidays? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Before you know it, the holidays will be here, leaving us wondering where the time went. Holiday shopping can be stressful, but being prepared can ease the mental load.

Set a Budget NOW! 

Before you go shopping (or add to your online cart) and before you decide what to give your aunt, nephew, cousin, and mom – set a budget! There is a lot of pressure to give expensive gifts around the holidays, even when we don’t have the money. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that having things aren’t as important as the people we share life with.

To prevent overspending during the holidays, list out everyone you buy for and set a gift budget. This step can help you anticipate the amount of money you have to spend on friends and family. Learning how to set a holiday budget helped me spend less and spend wiser. I plan my budget at the beginning of January for the following season, but it’s never too late to set your max spending.

  • Set an overall holiday budget – what can you really afford?
  • Make a list of everyone you plan to buy for
  • Allocate how much money you will spend on each person
      • Spending the same for parents, siblings, etc. makes this process simple!

If you don’t do this already, create a separate savings account or Holiday Club account to prepare for holiday spending. Open an account today, and while it may not make a large impact this year, you will have a full year to save for 2021 shopping!

Need an Extra Cushion?

No, we’re not talking seat cushion. Though that may be on your list if you’ve also been using your dining room as an office.

If you have a loan with Community West and need just a little extra cash to get you through the holidays, you may be eligible to skip your November or December loan payment(s)*. For $35 per loan, you can skip your payment* this holiday season.

Why does this matter? Skipping your loan payment can free up funds that you may not have had for the holidays. With a year like 2020, we could all use a little more cheer even if that means just one less bill on our minds.

Apply for a Holiday Loan

Word on the street is that online purchases may be delayed due to the demand for at-home delivery. If you’re like me, a classic last-minute shopper, this can feel overwhelming. You mean I need to buy my holiday gifts before Thanksgiving? The pressure to buy early also doesn’t leave much room to set aside extra cash for gifts.

Feeling the strain of early shopping with a budget that doesn’t leave much room for hiccups? Consider a Holiday Loan with Community West. Maybe you’re thinking you’ll just put your gifts on a credit card, which could work. However, credit card interest rates are typically higher than the Holiday Loan. With a rate as low as 5.99%** APR, the Holiday Loan can help you buy the gifts you need at once without shipping woes, and then pay them off over 12 months or less.

With a Holiday Loan, you can still follow the budgeting plan above! Once you’re approved, you can work with one of our loan specialists to determine a loan amount that works for you and your budget. Fill out our online application to apply for a Holiday Loan today!


Whether you want to apply for a loan, skip your loan payment, or pay cash for gifts, Community West has an option to help you make the most of the holiday shopping season. Contact us today to learn more about your options. You can also open an account online or at one of our six locations in West Michigan.

*Subject to account status. Forms must be signed/eSigned and submitted by member/cosigner/guarantors before payment due date. MasterCard, Line of Credit, Tuition, Home Equity, and Mortgage Loans are not eligible. Other exclusions may apply. Please contact Community West Credit Union for complete details.
**APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Quoted rate is the lowest available rate. Your rate will be based on your credit history and may be higher. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. Available through January 31, 2021.

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