ONE of the directors of a Swindon-based mortgage firm has offered advice on how to cope with rising living costs.

Chris Blackwell co-leads TED Mortgages and spends his days working with people and families to finance their dream homes.

As a board member for the Platform Project social enterprise, he also helps young people become savvy and sensible with their money.

He said: “I believe strongly that young people should be taught about money and how to handle it healthily from an early age.

"I talk to them about money in the ‘real world’, including budgeting, types of financial products, saving and looking after credit score.”

At a time when bills for essentials are rising rapidly, he has some tips which might help households across Swindon save money.

He added: “It can be very easy to avoid reviewing your finances, checking on your monthly outgoings and this is usually due to being sceptical on how much you can save.

“In the current climate there couldn’t be a more important time to review your spending and make savings where you can. Saving a tenner here or a fiver there can really make a difference over the course of a month, or a year.”

Mr Blackwell gave seven top tips:

-Shop around for general insurance rather than automatically renewing with the same provider, as there could be savings or a better deal you could ask your current provider to match.

-Review life insurance policies to ensure you have the best deal, especially if circumstances have changed.

-Utilities will be expensive anywhere, but it’s still worth checking you are on the cheapest possible tariff.

-Get rid of any subscriptions or memberships that are rarely or never used, as small direct debit amounts can easily be ignored ybut can be a quick and easy way to reduce monthly bills.

-Are your existing loans and credit cards on the best possible deal, or could you refinance them in another way which makes them cheaper?

-If concerned about your finances, don’t wait until you have missed payments to talk to your existing providers. Contact them early and make arrangements now as this will have a less severe impact on your credit file.

-Checking your mortgage is on the best possible deal and terms can bring about one of the biggest monthly savings. This may be about re-mortgaging to save money, rather than physically moving home.