Families can do a number of things to minimise the effects of rising household bills, meaning they may be less likely to encounter bank charges. Mark Bower, managing director at moneymaxim.co.uk, explained that the two main things to watch for are consumption and cost. He said: "Firstly look for ways of reducing consumption - using less of whatever a particular bill entails. "With gas and electricity, check whether you qualify for a grant to increase your insulation to cut your energy costs. Consider whether every car journey is really necessary." Mr Bower also suggested consumers look back through their bank statements and work out if they are getting the best deals around, explaining that consumers can save over £1,000 if they take a proper look at their outgoings. He added that other ways to make savings are to check prices of petrol at different garages or switch to supermarket's own versions of groceries, rather than brand names. John Fieldman Having worked in the city for 19 years, John's main focus is interest rates and corporate finance.
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