7 steps to help get your bills under control

You can save time and money by creating a plan to regularly review and manage your bills. Just follow our 7 step guide to managing your bills below.

1. Dedicate some time

Assigning 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 eventually. 

2. Put a list together

Note down all of the bills you pay, as well as the cost and the date that they are due. This 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 between the months, then include an average of your last three bills.)

Having all of the detail in the one place will allow you to have a clear view on who you need to pay, how much and when. When setting time aside to manage your bills, it’s important to take into account any unexpected bill changes you might experience too.

3. Choose how to pay

The majority of companies also give options on how to pay for your bills. A direct debit is often the easiest way, and sometimes even the cheapest – some companies will 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 concerns of late payment charges.

Some companies also give you the option to pay your bill when you receive it, by phone or through Internet Banking. This allows you to choose what amount and when to pay, putting you in charge. It’s a good idea to set calendar reminders if you do choose to pay this way, as there can be charges for late payments.

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 what money is yours 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 renewal date reminders

Add calendar reminders so you know when your current deals are due to end. It’s always worth looking for new offers before your renewal date, or you could end up rolling onto a more expensive tariff. 

6. Check your bills frequently

It's a good idea to keep hold of your paper or email bills, and 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) it’s safer to submit accurate readings, rather than having estimated bills, as you could end up over or underpaying.

7. Get in touch if you're having problems

If you’re having any issues in paying your bills, you should speak to the company you owe money to as soon as possible to see if they can help you.