A new year, a new start, as the saying goes. It’s safe to say that most people will have set themselves a goal or two to aim for both personally and professionally. This could take many different forms, perhaps losing weight, getting healthier, or aiming for a promotion at work.

However, have you considered saving the pennies this year? This could help you out a lot in the coming months. You never the know, the money you save could pay for a nice little holiday somewhere, or even pay for the latest piece of technology, perhaps that iPad 2 you really want.

You may not think that this is something you need to worry about, but the next couple of years are going to get extremely difficult for the middle and working classes within Britain, if they’re not already difficult that is. The reduction of the deficit is a main priority for the government, and significant savings are going to be made, cutting public and private sector budgets immensely. Also in some cases, taxes and the cost of living will rise; sometimes, this is a result of governmental policy, but in other cases it’s because the cost around the world is rising, such as the price of crude oil and food.

So the need to save is prevalent, but where do you start? Well first thing’s first, draw up a list of all your outgoings, and then look at ways you could save on each. For example, each month you will have to pay for food, fuel, bills, insurances, commuter fees, as well as a whole host of unexpected essentials, like emergency repairs to your car or home. From here, you need to start looking at ways in which you can cut back a little each month.

Take food for example. Think about how much money it costs you for a weekly or a fortnightly shop, taking everything into consideration. Now try and reduce that by £5 – £10. Write a list of things that you usually purchase and try to figure out items that you could take off the list. Consider shopping at a cheaper supermarket as well, and always make use of their loyalty schemes and vouchers – you’ll make significant savings staying loyal.

When it comes to fuel and the cost of running a car, unfortunately, this is also set to rise in the coming twelve months. Fuel is ever increasing, with another price rise scheduled in August. Look at ways to cut your fuel bill; consider walking or cycling to work, or lift sharing. When it comes to insurance, look at ways to reduce your premium, or downsize your car. Alternatively, you could sell your car, which is becoming a popular option for many, as this makes a huge difference to anyone’s monthly outgoings.

Finally, look at the situation with your gas, electricity and water bills. Always think when you go to switch that light on, or turn the heating up. If you think more conscientiously you could make a little saving on your monthly and quarterly bills here too.

What the Current Economical Climate Means To You

Since the coalition government were formed on the 12th of May 2010 between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrats, their main priority has been to reduce the deficit. This deficit refers to the gap between the amount of money the government receives and the amount it spends. Previous governments had overspent due to governmental borrowing, further increasing the level of national debt. So when the coalition government was formed, the deficit reduction was on the top of their list of priorities.

This has resulted in a series of public spending cuts, and a tightening of belts both for businesses and the general public. The government decided to cut many public bodies, as well as staff and budgets from local councils in an attempt to curb the amount they were spending. Taxes were raised, especially for those on higher incomes, and other taxes and charges have been included as a way of generating extra money into the government’s coffers.

Despite the apparent need, when cuts are quite severe, this can often have a detrimental effect on the growth of the economy. As families have less money to spend, they aren’t inclined to spend as much, and as a result, private sector businesses are harmed in the process. Due to this, many private sector businesses have had to make cuts of their own, further increasing the current level of unemployed people in the country – to the highest it has been in nearly twenty years.

So, for you, the member of the public, what does all of this mean? Well, there’s multiple ways of looking at it. For some workers, they’ve either had to take a pay cut or even a freeze, therefore the amount of money you have to spend on a monthly basis will get reduced. On top of this, getting money from the bank is becoming increasingly difficult. Whether you’re a business looking for some finance, or in need of a personal loan, as a result of the financial crisis, it’ll be difficult to get the funds you need.

This also affects those looking for mortgages as well as credit cards. Banks are more stringent than ever, and credit checks are much more thorough, so if you’ve had a history of bad credit, then it will be extremely difficult to get that little bit of credit that you would need to help you on a monthly basis. In this respect, the need for a quick and easy form of lending was set up. A type of lending that doesn’t look into your past credit rating and only considers your current financial status.

Step forward cash loan lenders. This short term lending solution has grown exponentially in the last couple of years, mainly as a result of the need for people to get a little extra cash on a monthly basis. Whether it’s for emergency purposes, or just to help get by, they’re proving to be highly successful. As long as you know you’ll be able to repay the loan (as well as the associated fees and interest) on your next payday, there is no rival to this form of short term lending in the current financial climate.

Are Consumers Being Sold The Wrong Products?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have warned in a new report, that many consumers are at risk of being sold financials products that they don’t need.

Many customers are looking around for the best deals at the moment because of the slow economy and financial problems. However, when doing this, many are getting products which are either deemed too risky, hard to understand or just not suitable for them.

This new report, which has been created using consumer research, found that many people were not looking properly into deals and just opting for the products which were the cheapest. For example, they may not be look at any add-ons which will make everything more expensive.

Also, many companies were deemed too proactive when it comes to sales, and many are encouraging customers to take out products they simply don’t need. The report found that many were using tactics which were too pushy, especially as many of the consumers were in a vulnerable mindset.

The FSA will be working with these firms for the next 12 to 18 months to ensure that everything is up to standard. If you are looking to take out a financial product in the near future, ensure that you have done as much research as possible into the best deals before applying. Also, make sure you are not sold anything that you don’t need.

Author's Bio: 

Man it feels good to be a woman