Think Money

Think Money

June 23, 2011 05:15 ET

Be Prepared for Higher Bills This Summer

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 23, 2011) - Financial solutions company Think Money has advised consumers to review their spending and to take steps, where necessary, to prepare themselves for expected increases in various utility bills over the remainder of 2011.

In its inflation report in May, the Bank of England speculated that energy bills could be set to increase towards the end of the year, due to rising wholesale prices. The Bank said that gas prices could rise by 15% and electricity prices could go up by 10%, adding a significant amount to average household bills.

An expert at Think Money commented:

"There's usually little that the average person can do to stop their bills rising, other than reducing their consumption, but there is a lot they can do to minimise the overall impact of price rises. For example, a lot of people are already paying more than necessary because they haven't compared the various deals on offer.

"When it comes to energy bills - as well as services such as broadband and mobile phone deals - switching to a cheaper provider could make a big difference. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to water suppliers, as these are allocated automatically by region - but it's worth considering any saving that might be made by the installation of a meter.

"Anyone concerned about their ability to cope with fluctuating bills may be better suited to a fixed-price tariff, which prevents a price increase for an agreed time period, assuming usage remains the same - although these are often more expensive than the equivalent variable-price tariffs.

"Aside from that, people can generally reduce the impact of these price rises by adhering to a strict budget - ensuring they put enough money aside for their essential living costs at the start of the month - to help limit the likelihood of missing bill payments. Regularly putting money into savings also makes good financial sense and can also help with unexpected bills or increases in outgoings.

"However, there will be many people already struggling to meet their current commitments, and rising bills will simply make this situation worse. It's important that anybody worried about their ability to meet existing bills or concerned about the impact of future increases gets the help they need. This particularly applies to anyone struggling with debt, who may find that a debt solution such as a debt management plan or an IVA [Individual Voluntary Arrangement] could help them to regain control of their finances."

Notes to Editors

Think Money is one of the UK's leading financial solutions providers, delivering a comprehensive range of financial solutions, including loan, insurance and banking solutions.

Think Money defines its mission as 'To educate, rehabilitate and advise on all aspects of financial management'.

For more information, visit the Think Money website at http://www.thinkmoney.com/.

Think Money debt section: http://www.thinkmoney.com/debt/

Think Money debt consolidation section: http://www.thinkmoney.com/debt/debt-consolidation/

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