He said: “Britain’s cost of living crisis is deepening by the day and there’s a growing expectation that things are about to get a whole lot worse.
“This month’s figures show energy prices creeping into the rest of the consumer basket - with food and transport prices the fastest risers compared with last month.
“In fact, the price of everything seems to be going up and even the summer sales season on the high street appears to have been suspended.
“There will be mounting pressure on the government to ease the tax burden on PAYE workers and examine whether fuel duty should be cut or even suspended.
“Consumer confidence is being severely hit and armchair investors are seeing their nest-eggs shrink as global stock markets go into retreat amid upward pressure on interest rates.
“In this environment, there is an urgent need for people not only to examine household budgets, but also to ask themselves whether they will be able to afford the retirement they once planned.
“Meanwhile, the Bank of England is now dropping heavy hints that it will hike its base interest rate to 1.75% - up from 0.1% last year. This would send mortgage bills spiralling for millions of households, adding £70-a-month to the costs of a typical £250,000 mortgage.
“Anyone who is nearing the end of a fixed-rate mortgage can expect to see a big rise in repayment costs.
“It's worth looking for a new deal now, as you can secure rates up to six months ahead of time and potentially head off future rises in interest rates that way."
James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.