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Consumers take action against rising costs

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28/05/2008

More than half of UK adults polled by Alliance & Leicester have taken action against the rising cost of living by adapting their finances.

Research from the bank revealed 34% of UK adults expect to have less cash to spare over the next six months, with 79% blaming this on the increasing cost of food, consumer goods, household bills and fuel prices. To combat this, many consumers have implemented money saving measures, including changing utility bill providers (20%), switching to a 0% credit card deal (12%) and moving current accounts (8%).

Consolidating credit card debts into a personal loan was the route taken by 7% of those polled, while 6% changed jobs to get a higher salary and the same percentage took on a second job. A total of 5% sold expensive items such as a car, jewellery or downsized their house.

Other cost cutting measures include shopping around to get the best grocery deal (45%), saving electricity by turning off lights (39%) and using ebay or charity shops (25%). More than four in ten of those surveyed (42%) are currently budgeting carefully, but the 35 to 54 age group (45%) has a slight edge on those in their teens or twenties (34%).

Emma Walkley, current account manager at Alliance & Leicester, said: “It is encouraging to see people are making positive changes to their spending and budgeting habits. This will hopefully stand them in good stead should they see their disposable income affected over the forthcoming months.

“Taking advantage of the best financial deals on the market is always important, but more so in the current environment. We would advise people to take a good look at their finances and see how they can be improved. Often making simple changes like switching to a current account provider offering a better interest rate can make any belt-tightening feel a little bit easier.”

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