Economic bad spell hits hard

Shop with care and choose cheaper brands.
Shop with care and choose cheaper brands.

A MERE 26 per cent of Glaswegians feel optimistic about their financial prospects, according to a new survey.

This is compared to a national average of 31%.

The economic downturn has hit Glasgow families badly and evidence suggests that many are finding it hard to cope.

It further states that almost 17% of people in the city are borrowing money for day-to-day expenses, compared to 11% nationally.

The report, compiled by Santander, also shows a bleak financial reality as 38% of people admit they are overdrawn by the end of the month (the national average is 31%).

It also found that nationally, families are spending 40% of their monthly income on bills as many utilities announced that costs for electricity and gas had been increased.

Neil Prothero, lead UK analyst of the Economic Intelligence Unit, said: “The bad news for consumers is that the cost of basic necessities such as food and energy are going to continue to rise as they are influenced by global price pressures.

“The good news, however, is that we Brits are very thrifty and many of us are cutting back on spending and looking around for the best deals which will help.

“It is important that everyone makes the most of these cost-saving measures at their disposal to help them through the economic downturn and allow them to look to the future with confidence”.

However, Jasmine Birtles, founder of the financial help group Moneymagpie, has some tips to aid those going through tough times.

She advises:

1. Make your bank account work harder for you – search for a current or savings account that offers a better rate of interest or lower fees.

2. Shop around for better rates among utility companies – suppliers are always looking for new customers and often offer great introductory offers and a painless transition.

3. Use online, telephone or mobile banking – put yourself back in control of your finances by identifying payments due to come out, charges or any irregularities rather than waiting for a bank statement at the end of the month.

4. Stick to a budget – writing a list before you go to the supermarket will help you avoid spontaneous or unnecessary purchases. Make your pennies go a little bit further by buying home brand, basic or reduced price goods.