Our utility bills will cover all sorts of things such as electricity, water, land line, internet access and cell phone. These can all add up and sometimes it can be difficult to manage the costs of all of them. It is wise to think about ways that you can make paying for them easier.
- Switch to cheaper providers – the first thing to try is to see whether you can switch to a cheaper supplier. Often you will have a selection that you can choose form and it is worth comparing the costs to see which you think will be the best for you. Obviously, price is not the only factor with these things though as you will also want to make sure that you are getting a good service. You may still be able to get as good a service as you are getting or less money though. If you are tied into a contract then it will probably be cheaper to wait until your contract ends before you switch, but you can look at the fee for ending the contract and calculate whether it is worth it. It is good to check the prices every year or so. Although it takes time to switch, it can be well worth it if you can save a significant amount of money.
- Only use the minimum amount – it is worth also making sure that you do not use too much of any of these and pay more than necessary. Firstly, with telephones you may not need a land line and a cell phone, consider whether you need to use both. Then also think about the contract you have and whether you use all of the features of if you can go onto a cheaper one that still provides you with everything that you need. Also try to use them less. For example, think about whether you can cut down how much electricity you use to reduce your ill, by turning off things that you do not need to be using. Also consider using your phone less, using less water (if you are metered) and things like this. Once you change your habits it will be really easy to do this and you will find that you can start saving money really quickly.
- Pay them first – if you tend to find it tricky to find enough money to pay these then prioritise them. Pay them before you pay for anything else. It can be wise to set up direct debits to pay them just after you get paid. This will mean that you should have enough money available still to be able to pay them and you will therefore not struggle to pay them. Of course, this could mean that you will then not have enough money left to pay for everything else that you want.
- Cut costs elsewhere – it could therefore be necessary for you to have to cut costs elsewhere. It can be wise to think about everything that we are buying and consider whether we really need to buy it. If we do then compare the price of it so that you know that you are getting good value for money and that you are not paying more than necessary. This can take time, but once you find out prices and change your shopping habits accordingly, you should be able to find it easy and automatic to do this and will hopefully be pleased at the money that you manage to save.
- Earn more – if you are really struggling then it could be necessary to think of ways to earn more money in order to help you to cover the costs of your bills. This will be trickier, particularly if you already have a job or if you have family commitments. However, there may still be things that you could try. Moving to a better paid job, could be something that will be really useful if that is a possible option for you. Taking on some freelance work, perhaps working from home or online may also help to boost your income. Even doing a few small extras could make the difference between coping and not coping financially, particularly if you put all of the other things into practice as well.
This is quite a long list of things that you need to consider. However, you will need to think about what will be most effective for you and work on that first. The quicker that you can take steps to help the problem, the faster you will find a solution. You could work through each of the options one by one or you could pick some that you think you should try first as they are areas you feel will make the most difference to you.