Keeping on Top of Your Bills.
Whether it is the phone bill, the electricity bill or the insurance, when you own your house, you are going to get pretty good at paying bills. However, this doesn’t make the process any easier. If you feel like every time you get a little ahead, an unexpected bill comes up, then you are not alone. Below are a few hints on making the process of paying bills a little easier on you and your savings account.
Predict what’s to Come
At the beginning of the tax year, sit down with your partner and make a list of the various bills that come in every month, quarter, bi annually and yearly. This will all depend on how you pay your bills but you can expect:
- Annual insurance renewal for your healthcare, house, car, contents and anything else you have insured
- Annual registration for your car and other vehicles as well as annual registration for any pets
- Bi annual rates bills
- Quarterly electricity bills and water bills
- Monthly telephone and internet bills
You may also have other bills to pay including school fees for your kids, gym memberships, pay television, etc. Write down a list of what comes in. Look over past bills to see what you paid last year. This is especially a good idea when trying to predict your electricity bill as this can jump around a lot depending on the season and where you live. It may help to have a detailed budget plan
Start a Special Account
If you have a little extra cash stored away, then why not start a special account reserved for paying the bills. Once you add all of these things up, you may be looking at paying around $8,000 per year on your living costs and bills. Or, you may be looking at much more or much less than this. Put this money into a high interest savings account and only access the account when you need to make a bill payment.
If you don’t have this extra cash floating around, then you can still start a high interest savings account and simply add a little bit to it each month. For example, setting aside $500 per month for bills, even on the months where you are only paying a $100 phone bill and nothing more, allows you to plan ahead for those more expensive months such as around June and January when the rates are typically due.
Choose the Most Appropriate Way to Pay
Many companies will allow you to choose how you pay whether on an annual or monthly basis. This is especially a good idea if you have several things all due in the same month. For example, you could be looking at a $1000 rates bill, a $2000 annual insurance renewal bill and an $800 electricity bill all in the same month. This can cause a lot of panic. Breaking down these bills so that you are paying around the same each month can make it easier to stay in control and on top of every payment without having to go into even more debt or risk an overdue fee.
These are just some of the different ways you can balance your budget and your bills. Life can get pretty expensive – paying the bills is only one small portion of your income which also needs to take care of the mortgage, groceries, entertainment and fuel. Setting a budget with all of these things can help you plan ahead and prepare for what’s to come.