Bills Bills Bills! Bloody Annoying – But You Can Reduce Them

Nov 19

Bills Bills Bills! Bloody Annoying – But You Can Reduce Them

No-one likes to receive bills. The only thing worse than seeing how much you owe in print is seeing how much tax has been taken from your earnings when you look at your payslip at the end of every month.

Sometimes, it really does feel like the money you earn is spent before you even know it’s there. But, even worse than having to pay bills is the fact that we’re often paying more than is necessary – basically, throwing away money!

As an example, many years ago I used to work for a gas and electricity company (who shall remain nameless!), taking calls from customers about their energy accounts. Now, I hold my hands up and fully admit that, until I took that job, I never even looked properly at my energy bills. Quite often, I didn’t even bother opening them. They totally bamboozled me! Who can convert their gas consumption based on meter readings into an actual monetary figure? Energy bills are the worst for being pages of seemingly-random figures, readings and prices, so I just didn’t bother with them.

My old way of dealing with bills!

My old way of dealing with bills!

It was only when I started to work for an energy company and my training taught me what the info on the bills actually means that I started to realise that savings could actually be made in my own household.

Which is why I’ve put together this article: to encourage people to take control of their finances, fight back against the bloodsucking companies who take their money every month and make sure they’re getting the best deals and the as much money in their pockets as possible!

Check out my tips below – maybe one will save you a pretty penny! Better in your pocket than theirs, right?

  1. Energy Bills

Might as well start with this one! Firstly, energy companies offer money-saving deals and packages that aren’t always well-advertised. For example, did you know you can get a discount from most energy companies if you have the same supplier for both gas and electric? Similarly, most companies offer a discount if you agree to receive your bills by email.

Meaningless bloody numbers!

Meaningless bloody numbers!

Secondly, energy companies offer a range of tariffs, packages and deals, but most won’t automatically put you on to the best unless you actively request it – so call them! It could save you money in the long term.

Finally, if you want some independent advice about who is the best and cheapest company for you, get help from someone like uswitch.

  1. Bank Accounts

Did you know there are some bank accounts out there that actually GIVE YOU CASHBACK from whatever you’ve paid for your household bills? As well as interest on your balance? So whatever direct debits you have going out of your bank, these accounts will give you a percentage back? I know I’m stealing a phrase from Tecso here but every little helps!

A really good example of this type of account is the Santander 123 current account. Santander actually makes it really easy to work out whether it’s worthwhile making a switch to them as they have a ‘cashback calculator’ feature on their site that allows you to get an indication of how much cashback you could receive on your current household bills annually.

  1. TV, Broadband and Telephone Packages

Firstly, don’t be duped by insanely good welcome deals for the first 3 months. Check out how much everything will cost in the long run; media companies may give you a package for next to nothing for the first 3 months of your contract, but then hike up the prices ridiculously for the remaining 15 months!

It definitely pays to research your TV, broadband and phone package because, unlike with energy companies, you’re tied in for 12-24 months, and often there is a huge fee to get out of the contract. I ended my contract early with one provider and, at first they wanted to charge me over £150 to end it! It was only when I pushed them that they let me know there was an option to half this amount by returning the wireless router and TV box, so be careful with this!

  1. Water Bills

Water rates vary from county to county, and the only control you have over your bill (besides making sure you’re not leaving the taps running or taking 2 hour long showers) is whether you pay a fixed bill based on the size of your house, or have a meter installed and pay for what you use. I would go for the latter if you have a smallish household. When Jess and I moved into our little 2 bedroom terrace I was paying over £40 a month, but once on a meter it fell to £23. Definitely worth investigating!

Check out the infographic below for more facts about household bills!

Household bills Infographic