No Room For Complacency When It Comes To Money

By: Steve Smith

Consumers need to be proactive in managing their finances, an industry expert has suggested.

According to Cesarina Holm-Kander, financial columnist and television presenter on Channel 4, a significant number of Britons are "scared" when it comes to managing their money. However, she stated there is "absolutely" no reason for this and that in taking a practical approach to financial matters consumers could generate significant savings. The economic journalist went on to report that in opting for uncompetitive products and deals, the average household is currently wasting about 5,000 pounds every year.

With such an amount available to be saved by switching to more cost-effective providers and payment plans, a significant number of people could discover that they can service mortgage costs and utility bills with greater ease. It could also help consumers to meet demands for repayment on loans, store and credit cards, overdrafts and other forms of borrowing.

She said: "There are lots of calls for an interest rate cut, given what's happening in the markets. On the other hand, inflation is a bit of a concern and the monetary policy committee will be struggling with both of those. But I would say to anyone, regardless of whether there's an interest rate cut, don't be complacent. It doesn't matter where the market's sitting, there are always better deals to be had. It's a product - so look for the best one."

Ms Holm-Kander's comments come after research carried out by Your Money Matters and Tickbox shows that a number of Britons are expecting monetary pressures to increase over the course of 2008. An estimated 36 per cent of people are worried about the state of the pensions sector over the next 12 months, with this proportion rising to 54 per cent for those with concerned about savings. Meanwhile, 29 per cent believe that the value of the pound is due to fall. In addition, just over two-fifths (42 per cent) think that interest rates are set to rise this year.

Should the Bank of England's monetary policy committee choose to hike up the base rate it is possible that many homeowners will witness an increase in their monthly repayments. Not only could this impact upon their capacity to make mortgage payments but also on their ability to pay UK personal loans, credit cards and other types of borrowing.

However, by taking an active approach to finances those who are worried about their money management may find that they are able to access a cheap online loan to help supplement their spending and pay off numerous debts. Such a loan might be of particular help to older people, as a study carried out by Callcredit last year showed that the over-55s are increasingly struggling with various demands on their finances. According to the firm 16 per cent of Britons in this age group are monetarily "unaware" and cannot state exactly how much debt they are in. Findings from the company also indicated that a third of these people have carried out short-term debts for the past three months and are an average of 5,900 pounds in the red.

Money Management
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