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Tips for managing bills and expenses

Unfortunately for most people, bills and expenses are a fact of life. But there are some things you could do to make sure you’re prepared – whether they’re regular expenses (think your mortgage or rent); or perhaps unexpected, such as needing to get the washing machine repaired. Here are some tips to help manage expenses that might come your way.

Create an expenses calendar

You can either go old school and mark them on a paper calendar or use an online calendar, such as on your phone – the advantage of going digital is that you should also be able to set up automatic reminders for when bills are due.

Make a note of the due date for any regular bills. These might include:
 

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Phone
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Gym membership
  • Pay TV

 

Once you’ve recorded all your regular expenses, add in any less frequent bills such as insurance (if you pay annually) or your car registration. You could also mark in birthdays and other big events, such as a friend’s wedding where you know you’ll need to buy a gift.

When you’ve got a good idea of what your expenses are likely to be, work out the total amount you’ll likely need to pay your bills and expenses for the year – including birthday gifts and other celebrations. Then work out what this comes to every time you get paid, whether that’s monthly or fortnightly or weekly.

Budget and track your spending

Having a budget to manage your expenses can help you spend within your means and cut down if necessary for upcoming bills and events

It can be useful to track your spending with a diary to see where you might be able to make changes or cut back on certain expenses. Understanding what and where you spend is the first step to making changes.

Find out more about budgeting

Automating bill payments with direct debit

Setting up direct debits for regular payments can make it much easier to stay on top of your bills. You might want to set the direct debit to for the day after you get paid – make sure you keep an eye on the bill amount in case it varies to make sure you have enough funds.

Emergency or ‘rainy day’ funds

It can be a good idea to save for an emergency or ‘rainy day’ fund to cover you in the event of large bills or other unexpected costs. This will help give you peace of mind and means you won’t need to reallocate funds from your budget or cut down when you have to find extra money.

Find out more about setting up an emergency fund