How to manage your bills

We've put together some simple steps to help you manage your bills and feel more in control of your payments. 

1. Give yourself some time

Make some time to review your bills and understand what you're paying and when. It will not only help you to keep on top of everything, but it could also save you time and money further down the line. 

2. Create a list

Write a list detailing all your bill payments, how much they are and when they are due. Try and think about things like your mortgage or rent payments, mobile phone costs, utility bills, council tax. Even any subscriptions and memberships. (Sometimes bills can be slightly different each month so include an average cost of the last three bills). 

You'll feel more organised and will know exactly who you need to pay, what amount and when it's due. It could be useful to put some money aside to cover any bill increases too. 

3. Choose how you want to pay

Paying by direct debit is often the easiest way to pay. Sometimes, you can get a discount paying this way. It's usually straightforward to set up and money gets taken from your account every month.

You might prefer to pay over the phone or using Internet Banking. Both ways put you in control of what and when you pay but you'll need to remind yourself when you need to make your payments. Making a note of these dates or setting a reminder is useful so you don't miss a payment.

4. Decide when to pay

Some companies let you choose the date your bill payment is due. You can usually just ring up whoever you're paying and agree to a set date.

Having your bills come out on the day you're paid can be helpful as you know when your payment is being taken and how much is yours left to spend each month. If you're paid weekly, spreading out payments over the month might be a better choice for you.

Depending on the type of bill, you can sometimes pay a one-off payment each year. For example, car insurance or road tax. It can mean that you pay less overall, and you don't need to budget for the monthly cost throughout the year.

5. Set reminders for when your deals end

Make sure you know when your current deals are due to end. Adding reminders to your phone can help. You can start to look out for better prices and compare quotes. Otherwise, you could end up being moved on to a standard tariff which could cost more.

6. Keep an eye on your bills

It's worth keeping your paper or email bills so you can check them against your bank statements to make sure you're paying exactly what you've agreed to. Plus, you can make sure nothing has changed.

Find out if your gas and electricity (and water if you're on a meter) is based on an estimate and if it is, take an accurate reading and submit it to the utility company. If you don't do this, you may be charged more or pay less than you need to.

7. Seek help if you're struggling with payments

Sometimes financial situations change, and you might find that you are worried about how you are going to pay your bills. The first step is to speak to the company you owe money to. They may be able to offer guidance on how they can support you.