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Share your top tips on staying on top of the family’s bills with EE – HTC One Mini (worth £365) to be won NOW CLOSED

(83 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 10-Dec-13 12:45:28

EE want to know what tips Mumsnetters have for staying on top of their family’s bills.

Here’s what EE have to say, “We're the UK's biggest mobile network and we've just created Shared 4GEE Plans. Based on the idea that you share your data allowance across multiple devices (phones, laptops, tablets) you can save money. You can sign up with up to four other people (friends, your partner, your mum and dad) and together you can get up to 50GB data for everyone to play with, as well as unlimited calls and texts for all the phones – all on one simple bill.”

So, what tips do you have for keeping on top of your family’s bills and making sure you stay within budget? Do you revise your bills thoroughly each month? Do you make sure you only run the dishwasher and washing machine overnight? Perhaps you Skype rather than phone call any friends or relatives living or travelling overseas? Whatever it is we’d love to hear about it.

Everyone who adds their comments to the thread will be entered into a prize draw to win an HTC One Mini. For full T&Cs please terms and conditions click here

Please note your comments may be used (anonymously of course) on EE's pages on MN, social media channels and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

RescueCack Sat 21-Dec-13 07:50:58

We use a software called YNAB ( You Need A Budget) and allocate all money for the month as soon as it comes in. DHs income can vary so it's important we do this. No two months are the same. That way on a good month we can out some away. The ultimate goal is to live entirely on the previous months income and be one month ahead, but it's a long way off.

We use a cash back bank account, and DD all bills so we never get behind on paying.

Cook everything from scratch and freeze leftovers

Live in a terraced house with great insulation front and back. We never have to put our heating on wink

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Sat 21-Dec-13 14:54:46

I think the key to it is being totally aware of what is being spent and on what. It can be a bit tedious and time consuming but ultimately if you don't know what you're spending you cannot address any possible wastage/overspends etc.

A good way to budget for, say, groceries is to use cash rather than cards. That way you see the cash physically dwindling and it's quite an eye opener to be in the middle of the month having nearly spent the whole budget already.
Avoid top up shops wherever possible, freeze milk and bread to avoid running out. Once you're in the shop it's so easy to pick up this that and the other.
Use money off coupons/vouchers but ONLY if they are items you will need. Some items can work out free (for example there was a money off coupon in a previous edition of a supermarket magazine for 50p off tinned tomatoes...these tomatoes were reduced in store to 50p, therefore FREE! I still have a large stock of these smile.
Meal plan, stick to it and only buy what you need for the plan.
Check out the reduced counters, sometimes there can be great bargains to be had - find out what time your local supermarket makes their final reductions and have a look. Again though, only buy if it's something you need.
Batch cook, and freeze left over portions to save cooking later in the week/month. Don't waste leftovers. Curry, spag bol, chilli, stews, pies, rice, pasta, mashed potato all freeze brilliantly, and can be heated up in the microwave saving time and energy especially when you come home from work hungry and can't face the idea of cooking so just reach for the takeaway menu instead!
Open the oven door once you've finished cooking, it warms the kitchen up a treat.

Wear extra layers to keep warm instead of turning the heating up too high. Use blankets and throws on the sofa. Eliminate draughts as far as possible - line curtains, use door curtains, draught excluders and close internal doors.

Avoid using tumble driers, they drink electricity.

Transfer any credit card debts onto interest free cards if possible, there are some long term 0% balance transfer offers available at the moment. Do not be tempted to use these cards, in fact it's a good idea to cut them up once the balance has been transferred.

If you smoke, try and give up. The money saved can be phenomenal. And obviously your health will benefit too wink

Look at utility bills - can anything be saved by shopping around and transferring to another provider? Pay by DD if possible to get the discount offered. You don't always need to switch provider, they will often price match to keep your business.

Do not automatically renew car/life/house/whatever insurance. Use the comparison websites, check out the cash back websites to see if they are offering anything decent, put some time and effort into getting the best deal.

Walk wherever possible to avoid using the car on short journeys. Not always practical for everybody I realise, but if it's possible then it is worth it.

Quite often once these measures have been put in place, such as budgeting, meal planning etc then they almost become a way of life and don't feel so laborious.

WowOoo Sat 21-Dec-13 16:22:02

Bills both go out of the joint account that we both pay into. They are arranged to be paid after we've been paid.

I check things like insurance and shop around for renewal. I can't believe people still just renew without checking if they could save first.

For friends and family abroad we use FaceTime. It's a godsend. Skype tried to charge me, so I haven't used it since.

woodchuck Sat 21-Dec-13 18:29:46

I also have a spreadsheet but like to keep a written record of income and expenditure, bills due etc. I lkke to pay things by monthly dd if possible, as we get paid monthly. I also use a cash back credit card for spending on petrol and food shopping, so I can treat these as one monthly payment lik another bill. This helps me keep on top of my money.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 21-Dec-13 18:38:24

Don't buy Apple products. Plenty of other options out there which are cheaper, better and don't sting you with expensive extras because nothing else is compatible.

beatricequimby Sat 21-Dec-13 22:59:40

Meal planning.

Changed supermarkets saving about ten pounds a week.

Negotiating on car break down cover and car insurance. Was really suprised at how much my existing providers were prepared to drop their prices to get me to stay with them.

I limit the use of the car.

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Dec-13 14:11:33

This thread has now closed, thank you to everyone who has added their comments. Congratulations to CheeseTMouse who won the prize draw for an HTC One Mini handset. We'll be in touch soon! fsmile

CheeseTMouse Tue 24-Dec-13 23:33:22

Many thanks Mumsnet and to EE. What a nice surprise on Christmas eve!

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