For working Australians, the news of increased inflation comes with a massive feeling of dread. As prices for goods and services increase disproportionately to incomes, there's no doubt that families will ultimately suffer. Trips to the supermarket for basic needs will cause distress as people's purchasing power diminishes. Added to this, increases in petrol prices and higher interest rates and record levels of household debt spells difficult times ahead for consumers.

So how does one prepare for hard times? The answer is not as simple as you may think. Many commentators have written articles recommending people spend less and "tighten their belts" - and whilst this is essentially good advice, it provides very little consolation for those people struggling with debt. Another suggestion is to consolidate debts in order to rationalise outgoings.

Debt Consolidation is an effective tool to manage debts more efficiently as long as there is a financial benefit. In other words, the financial gains must be sufficient to justify the cost of consolidation. For this reason, fees and charges as well as interest rate changes must be considered alongside the convenience of having one debt.

It's important to look at the household outgoings as well and determine where if any savings can be made. There are numerous websites that talk about how to on utility costs but in most cases you need only to look to your power provider for information about cost saving measures.

Trips to the supermarket can be less costly too if you follow a few simple rules such as:
1. Looking for products that are not at eye level - these are usually the cheaper ones
2. Shopping after hours - this is when goods usually go on special
3. Don't go to the supermarket hungry - you're more likely to by impulse items
4. Shop at discount supermarkets - food retail is getting more competitive and that means cheaper prices

It's time too to review the household budget and eliminate any excess, unnecessary costs and make some cutbacks such. For instance:

    1. Quit smoking
    1. Cancel the gym membership if you don't use it
    1. Use public transport more to save petrol
    1. Take you lunch to work
    1. Cook more at home and don't buy as much take away


All this is easier said than done because a change to lifestyle takes discipline. But with help, debt management and a fresh outlook you stand every chance of success in weathering the economic storm

About the Author:

Nicholas Bregozzo specialises in Debt Consolidation and Debt Help and has advised people who have personal debt problems since 2000. During this period he has helped 1000s of people manage their debts and avoid Bankruptcy. Currently he works for Debt Fix with the objective of providing clear impartial advice and solutions for people in serious debt.

This Article may be republished providing it remains intact including the author bio.