i just found this on dictionary.com under affect:
Usage Note: Affect and effect have no senses in common. As a verb affect is most commonly used in the sense of “to influence” (how smoking affects health). Effect means “to bring about or execute”: layoffs designed to effect savings. Thus the sentence These measures may affect savings could imply that the measures may reduce savings that have already been realized, whereas These measures may effect savings implies that the measures will cause new savings to come about.
This would mean that I should use "effect" but if it seems cliche (as ekc says it does) then I'll probably reword. But thanks for the clarifications!