We are all only too aware of how hard everyday living has become over the past couple of years. Ever since the banks mucked up our economy, big time, we poor souls are the ones who have had to pick up the pieces.

On top of this, the cost of living has been rising exponentially. Whether it is the price of food shopping, petrol at the pumps, or energy costs – everything is rising well above the rate of wage increases at the moment and if you consult websites that are aimed at providing advice and assistance in these times, like money guides for example, they will all be telling you the same thing.

In order to ensure that you stay afloat financially, it is usually a very good idea to sit down and work out your finances very carefully. Never just bury your head in the sand and muddle through from one month to the next, as this could just be a recipe for disaster.

Work out all of your monthly expenditure and see where any cuts can be made. Your weekly food bill can usually see a cut or two and energy prices can also be cut if you are more frugal with how you use it.

With petrol, if you can walk then do so, rather than taking your car on very short journeys; moreover, make the kids walk more, too. This will be good exercise for them. Get the whole family involved in attempting to save money in the family budget; this is always great experience for children and helps them to understand the true value of money.