The Independent recently published results from a survey of 2,000 motorists highlighting concern over rising fuel prices. Although price of petrol has been a regular concern since protests first occurred over the litre price exceeding £1, no further direct action has been seen since the Government intervened in the potential Easter haulier strike. However pump prices have continued to edge north and now the survey responses find that a further increase of 15p per litre - not an unthinkable amout given the volatility of the prices this year - could see as many as 85% of motorists abandoning their transport in favour of other options.

For some this would mean a shift to public transport, however rail prices are also at inflation-busting levels and wouljd ultimately pass across increase in fuel costs to their customers also . . . it's pointing at the need for a radical shift in taxing policy in order to cement any growth and assist those having financial diffculties to keep their monthly wages protected form commuting costs.

Forecourts have been reporting decreased fuel sales for several months now, with the average purchase dropping to a level where many are putting "minimum purchase" amounts on the pumps. Despite a brief flurry of panic-buying during the prospect of a strike by tanker drivers, in general the public is filling up with less, less often.

If you are struggling with debts or are trying to improve a bad credit situation, then paying attention to your fuel costs is very important:
 - Consider whether you need to use a car for shorter trips instead of walking
 - Frequent short trips burn more fuel - try and combine short hops into a longer route so your engine works more efficiently
 - Keep your car well-maintained. A tuned engine and properly inflated tyres wil reduce fuel consumption
 - Stick to the speed limit - travelling at less than 60 mph is more efficient for most engine's fule consumption
 - If you have an older car, consider whether a more modern fuel-effcient model may make more economic sense
 - If you travel a great deal, consider switching to a diesel engine

Although increased rises in fuel shouljd favour those with hybrid engines, sadly these types of vehicle are still prohibitively expensive. Huge demand is keeping the prices of even second-hand models extremely high, but if you see a good deal on a hybrid or "fuel sipper", subject to it passing the usual checks it may be a worthwile investment and help your credit card bill when it comes to keeping fuelled each month.

 
 
UK feline charity Cats Protection published a press release recently comprising figures which indicate that an increasing number of people are putting their pet kitties up for adoption in the wake of the country's recessive economy status. Concurrently, the number of people volunteering to look after a homeless moggie is dropping. 

Let's take a closer look at the figures contained within the press release:
  • The number of people wanting to adopt a cat fell by 31 per cent (5,016 in 2010 o 3,471 in 2011);
  • The number of people wanting to give up a cat increased by 14 per cent (8,308 in 2010 to 9,459 in 2011) and
  • The number of people reporting stray cats increased by 7 per cent (6,924 in 2010 to 7,426 in 2011)
Whilst these figures are sad, I can't say that I find them particularly surprising - it's not only the food and medical bills of humans that are becoming increasingly costly! When one finds it hard to meet the costs of their utility bills each month, arguably they are in no position to provide the necessary care for a cat.

But do you agree with this sentiment? Are you a pet owner despite your financial difficulties? Be sure to share your thoughts with me below.