Tips for managing bills

Save time and money by checking your bills regularly. Just follow our 7 step guide below.

1. Dedicate some time

Putting aside some time to look through and understand your bills is important. Give yourself a few hours each month, with no distractions and you could save time and money in the long run.

2. Make a list

Note down all the bills you pay, as well as the cost and due date. This should include everything, from your mortgage or rent payment, to utilities, council tax, insurances, subscriptions and more. If the cost varies from month to month, then include an average of your last three bills.

Having all the detail in one place will give you a clear view on who you need to pay, how much and when. Don't forget to take into account any unexpected bill changes ​too.

3. Choose how to pay

Paying by Direct Debit is often easiest and you may even get a discount for using this type of payment. When you have a Direct Debit set up, the money is automatically taken from your account each month.

You could pay over the phone or use Internet Banking if you want to control what and when you pay. You’ll have to remember to make all your payments on time so it’s worth marking the dates on a calendar or setting a reminder on your phone.

4. Choose when to pay

Choosing at which point in the month you pay your bills can help with planning your finances. To do this usually just involves a phone call to whoever you’re paying to change your payment dates.

It might be that you’d prefer to know each month how much money is left over to spend, so you could request that your bills all get paid out shortly after payday. Or, if you’re paid weekly, you might prefer to spread the payments out over the month.

For some bills, you can choose to pay annually. This will mean you’ll have a large payment in one go, but then you won’t need to worry about this for the rest of the year. Sometimes a one-off payment can even work out cheaper, for some bills like car insurance.

5. Set reminders for when your deals end

Add calendar reminders so you know when your current deals are due to end. You can start searching for better prices before they finish. Otherwise you’ll roll onto a standard tariff, which can cost more.

6. Check your bills frequently

It's a good idea to keep hold of your paper or email bills. Check them against your outgoing payments to make sure you're happy nothing has changed.

For gas and electricity (and water if you’re on a meter), check if your bill is based on an estimate and if it is, take and send in an accurate reading. If you don't do this you could end up overpaying, or not paying enough.

7. Get in touch if you're having problems

If you’re having any issues paying your bills, you should speak to the company you owe money to as soon as possible. They may be able to help you.