A financially organised start to the year could help allay worries later in the year, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association says.
Chief executive Angela Knight has issued advice for consumers about how to manage finances in 2008 in light of higher energy bills and the effects of the credit crunch.
She pointed out that economists have predicted a tough year and suggested that it was a good idea for consumers to be prepared.
Ignoring bills is a bad idea and a key piece of advice was to plan monthly payments to have more control by spreading costs.
"The economists all tell us 2008 is going to be a difficult year," she said.
"So for 2008, on an individual basis as well as the UK as a whole, being financially careful has got to be the right thing to do."
Ms Knight also suggested that consumers should talk to their bank if they do get into trouble, especially mortgage lenders.
Moneyfacts suggests that people should sit down and detail their expenditure and income and plan a budget for debt repayment.
In order to cut bills, savvy consumers should shop around for the best deal on things such as broadband, phones and electricity.
Find out how to compare electricity suppliers
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