How to avoid blowing your winter budget

WINTER is coming, but it doesn't have to mean putting a freeze on your finances.

Our spending habits are closely linked to our mood, so resisting the urge to lift the winter blues with increased spending could have the coolest months of the year becoming the hottest for your savings.

Practise mindful spending: making conscious and rational decisions when it comes to spending is paramount.

Modern technology has made buying highly convenient, so it's important to slow down and consider a purchase before tapping, swiping or inserting.

Have a "staycation": the temptation to head to a warmer climate is high during the colder months, but the low Aussie dollar makes international travel an expensive exercise.

So, why not enjoy a "staycation" this winter? Whether it's a short trip interstate or a series of day trips to your favourite local spot, a mini holiday at home is the best way to maximise relaxation and minimise cost.

Make your own takeaway: the cooler weather brings a craving for comfort food, but rather than blow the budget on expensive takeaway, get creative in the kitchen and make your own meals.

Setting aside a day per week to plan, buy and cook your meals for the week not only helps you avoid costly intermittent trips to the shops, but also helps minimise wastage.

Start a winter savings club: sharing a savings goal with your social circle is a great way to limit the temptation to spend on leisure activities. Planning regular get-togethers with a group of friends or family committed to making winter a season of savings will limit the potential to overspend on social activities.

Organising "bring a plate" events with a set spending limit per person is an easy way to plan ahead and limit overspending on socialising.

Incorporating these four savings methods to your budget this winter is a sure- fire way to reach your savings goals.

For all of your banking needs, visit your nearest Suncorp Bank branch or phone 131 175.

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