How to stay ahead in troubled times

Look after the pennies...
Look after the pennies...
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We all know we’re beginning to feel the pinch. According to city financial experts Deloitte, we are getting poorer by the day.

By the autumn of this year, families will find they have £780 less to spend as incomes plummet in the wake of inflation, rising taxes, and flat wages.

Traditionally, consumers facing falling living standards have either borrowed more or dipped into their savings.

Deloitte’s chief economic adviser, Roger Bootle, says that families will have little choice but to cut their spending. ‘The labour market is also providing cause for concern,’ he said. ‘I doubt whether the private sector will be able to compensate for job losses, and inflation looks set to continue to rise – possibly above five per cent.’

In the face of all this doom and gloom, Streetwise points the way ahead with ten top tips to save money.

1 Think remortgage: The mortgage is households’ largest single monthly outgoing. Check with comparison websites like moneysaving for the best deals.

2 Save and spend: If you can’t avoid spending check first where you can get cash back deals. Visit sendmecash

3 Never pay the full price – haggle for the best deal.

4 Cut back the direct debits: Ruthlessly prune unnecessary direct debits.

5 Budget: The more you set out to find where your hard-earned money is being spent, the easier it’ll be to make savings. Use the free budget planner from

6 Think ahead: trim your holiday costs, and make savings on travel by booking well in advance. Buy your groceries monthly to avoid impulse purchases.

7 Be prepared: Cut out unnecessary spending habits. Save cash by making sandwiches for work. Plan your car journeys.

8 Crunch the cards and credit deals: Credit cards are a very expensive way to pay, averaging around 18 per cent annually. Move and consolidate any outstanding balances to zero per cent deals.

9 Be energy savvy: To discover how much you can save take the Energy Saving Trust’s home survey at

10 Disloyalty pays: Don’t get too comfortable with one supplier for goods and services. Your lethargy will cost a bomb. Banks, insurance, telephone and broadband providers, are all chasing your money.