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Making your budget go the distance for the festive season

Whether you start shopping in the Boxing Day sales or leave it all to the last minute, sticking to your budget can be tricky when it’s holiday time. We look at 3 ways to keep spending under control without spoiling the season of good cheer.

Look forward to the coming year feeling in control instead of stressed about money.

When you’re excited about spending time with friends and family, giving and celebrating tends to take priority over saving. It can be so easy to shelve your savings targets and give in to the urge to splurge. Here are 3 ways to avoid going overboard with your festive spending.

1. Give your money meaning

At StatePlus we know one of the best ways to get into good money habits is having a clear vision. When planning for retirement, if you take the time to think about the future and what’s important to you it’s easier to be practical about making space for savings in your current budget.

To help you stick to that budget, keep a picture in your wallet, or on your phone, of your dream holiday or your ideal location for retirement. Each time you’re shopping for something new you can use it as a reminder of what you’ve got to look forward to if you stick to your budget. You’ll be surprised how effective it is at keeping you on track with your spending.

2. Stick to your shopping list

A carefully thought out gift plan can make all the difference to staying on budget. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and decide on an amount to spend for each of them. If you can also decide what to buy before you head to the shops, that’s even better. It gives you the chance to look for the best deals online beforehand.

Don’t be too proud to re-gift or go with something hand made. If you have something new that’s gathering dust in a cupboard, it could be just the thing for a friend or family member to use and enjoy. Handmade gifts have a charm and personal quality that manufactured gifts just can’t match. Depending on your skills and interests you could try your hand at home made preserves, candles or a terrarium. Have a look at Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.

3. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you

You probably know not to go food shopping when you’re hungry. So it makes sense to be in the right frame of mind for your holiday shopping too. Choose a timeslot when you’re feeling prepared and won’t be rushed. If you start out feeling in control, you can stick to your plan and maybe even enjoy the challenge of finding the right gifts within your budget. Do your best to avoid last-minute panic shopping as it often leads to buying something that’s both expensive and not really suitable.

Keeping an eye on your spending doesn’t have to take the fun out of your festivities and you can look forward to the coming year feeling in control instead of being stressed about money.

Need help managing your money?

Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus financial planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.

For more tips and tools, download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305

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