Weather the credit crunch with's money saving tips

18 September 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
As Brits tighten their purse strings and the credit crunch worsens, offers tips on staying afloat financially, recession or no recession

Recession or not, British households have been feeling the pinch on their finances in recent months as the cost of heating their homes, filling their cars, and putting food on the table has risen considerably.

But all is not lost, says Daniela Gieseler, spokesperson for

"There are a number of things you can do to practice damage control and limit your financial fallout from the credit crunch, such as cutting back to save pennies where possible, and practicing good money management."

Budget budget budget

Many people shy away from the word 'budget' but it can really give a sense of satisfaction and help to bring household finances under control. Work out the household income versus monthly outgoings and this can help to see where the money is going each month and also help to cut back on unnecessary things.

Credit card? What credit card?

Just because credit is readily available does not mean it should be used – resist the numerous credit card offers that come through the door, because they can quickly stack up along with the amount of debt they can accumulate. Try switching to a zero per cent balance transfer credit card to clear the others and repay it before the offer runs out and the interest shoots up. Or, try using a prepaid credit card that does not offer the temptation of credit usually associated with a credit card.

Facing facts

Keeping on top of the finances is perhaps the most important thing on the road to becoming 'money savvy'. Too many people these days ignore bank statements and credit card bills because they'd rather hide from their debts than confront them. This will only make the problem worse, and if payments are missed as a result, the lenders will not look favourably upon those who have not tried to contact them and make some effort to repay their debts. internet banking allows 24 hour access to accounts making them easier to keep on top of.

Raindrops keep falling on my head…

Financial disaster could be just around the corner for those that don't prepare for unexpected eventualities. Not as many people save for a rainy day anymore, but it remains as important as ever – it might seem more essential to buy that new TV, but how would a boiler be replaced or the car get repaired if they broke down tomorrow? Having some money set aside for when things go wrong provides a valuable safety net.

Ms Gieseler added: "Getting to grips with your finances can be very empowering – even just setting yourself a budget and sticking to it can bring a real sense of accomplishment, so try it for a few months and you'll not only be more financially stable but will also be able to reward yourself for good behaviour."