7 steps to help get your bills under control

Regularly reviewing your bills can help to save you time and money further down the line. Follow our 7 step guide to help you feel more in control of your outgoings. 

1. Set some time aside

Allocating time to spend looking through and really understanding your bills is key. Set aside a few hours, without distractions and it could save you time and money in the long run. 

2. Make a list

Create a list of what bills you pay, along with the cost and the date that they are due. Your list should include everything; from your mortgage or rent payment, to utilities, council tax, insurances, subscriptions such as Netflix, gym membership and more. (If the cost of a bill varies month on month, then include an average of your last three bills.)

Once you’ve completed this you’ll have a detailed plan of who you need to pay, how much and when. It’s always worth setting a little extra aside, in case of any bill increases. 

3. Pay in a way that suits you

A direct debit is often the easiest way to pay a bill, and some companies even offer discounts for paying this way. When you have a direct debit set up, the money is automatically taken from your account each month, so you can avoid any worries of late payment charges.

Most companies also give the option to pay by phone or Internet Banking. These methods of payment put you in charge of what and when you pay. Though it is worth setting calendar reminders so you remember to make your payments on time each month – as there can be charges for late payments. 

4. Choose when to pay

With many companies, you can choose when to pay your bills. To do this usually just involves a phone call to whoever you’re paying.

It might be that you’d rather all of your bills come out on payday, so you know that whatever is left in your account is yours to spend. Or, if you’re paid weekly you might prefer to spread the payments out over the month.

For some bills, you can even look into paying annually. This does mean that a large sum will leave your bank account in the one go, but it then means you don’t need to budget for this throughout the year. For some bills, like car insurance, a one-off payment may mean that you pay less overall. 

5. Set renewal date reminders

Make note of when your current deals are due to end by adding calendar reminders. It’s always worth searching for new providers/offers before your renewal date, or you could roll onto a standard tariff which may be more expensive. 

6. Regularly check your bills

Always keep a close eye on your bills. Keep hold of paper or email statements for each of your bills, and regularly check them against your bank statements to make sure nothing has changed.

For gas and electricity (and water, if you’re on a meter) it’s best to submit accurate readings, rather than having estimated bills as you could end up over/under paying.

7. Reach out if any problems

If you run into any issues paying your bills, the best thing to do is to speak to the company you owe money to as soon as possible. They may be able to put things in place to support you.