Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Master Your Money to Beat the Crunch; the Term 'Credit Crunch' Has Become a Phrase Everyone Is Far Too Familiar with/ since Last Summer the Economic Climate Has Changed to Show a Much Gloomier Picture for All Concerned. Here, GARETH DEIGHAN Finds out How You Can Survive Unscathed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Master Your Money to Beat the Crunch; the Term 'Credit Crunch' Has Become a Phrase Everyone Is Far Too Familiar with/ since Last Summer the Economic Climate Has Changed to Show a Much Gloomier Picture for All Concerned. Here, GARETH DEIGHAN Finds out How You Can Survive Unscathed

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH DEIGHAN

STORIES of the gloomy economy are in the news every day.

This week Barratt Homes, based in Newcastle, saw the company's worth reduced to around 95% of what it was a year ago, and the Northern Rock crisis, with a potential 2,000 job losses, continues to loom.

House prices are down; mortgages are harder to come by. The price of petrol has gone through the roof and energy is more expensive.

The overall picture doesn't look too good. But, experts say, with a little bit of thought, everyone can make it through with as little fuss as possible.

Paul Duncan, corporate finance director at HW chartered accountants, said the key to getting through the credit crunch is the same for both people and businesses.

He said there was strong parallels between people at home and people in business in the way they deal with the economic slowdown.

He said: "There has been a lot made of what is happening at the moment in the media and, I think, this could become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We are experiencing an economic slow-down, but we are not in an official recession at the moment.

"Basically, people and businesses need to be more aware of what they can get for their money. If there is a silver lining in this, then it is that it could serve to make people more prudent and discerning.

"Companies want to get your business, so there will be deals to be done. For businesses too, there are many funding options available, as long as the funding is for a sound investment.

"When you think about it, most of what we spend is on essentials. If you think of the larger payments you make it is mortgage, car, energy and telecommunications.

"For things like heat and gas many people will have signed a deal a couple of years ago meaning it is easy to get out of the deals. Most of us now have the internet at home and it is easy to check who is doing the best deal. …

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