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Can you help me with taking care of my bills?

(14 Posts)
user1473714858 Mon 12-Sep-16 22:18:33

Hello, I am quite confused & worried at the moment

I just moved into a new apartment (well it's actually not new haha but still) with my little baby girl and have to pay quite a lot of bills like water, gas, etc. etc. I then also look at my netflix & amazon prime membership per month I realize that I am actually spending quite a lot of money fixed per month before even doing groceries for us two.
Now I spoke to some friends who are in kinda the same situation who told me that I should just cancel netflix and amazon prime for now to cut my costs.
But before doing so I wanted to ask all of you how you do it? I mean, yeah, of course, I can cancel my subscriptions but isn't there a better way somehow to keep on top of my bills and still manage to have a life!?

Can you help me please?? Just wanna hear your experience and see what you guys do. Some friends also told me that they are not paying any bills cause their landlord does it so would that be better? If I look on the internet I am always a bit scared to use services which want to access my bank account or some data and stuff, cause I am not sure what happens to my data then. Do you use something like this or do you also have data concerns? Perhaps it would make my life easier

It's not like I am totally poor but still want to take care of my money to buy the one or other thing for my little girl.

Thank you!!!

annielostit Tue 13-Sep-16 07:19:27

You need to list your incoming money and all essential out going bills first. Make sure you've got the cheapest gas electric phone etc.
When you've got these you can set a budget for food & extras.
I use a different account for daily spends.

RatOnnaStick Tue 13-Sep-16 07:26:01

Have a go at the MSE budget planner. Once you see exactly how and where your money is being spent you can make some decisions as to what you could change to make life easier.

RatOnnaStick Tue 13-Sep-16 07:26:04

Have a go at the MSE budget planner. Once you see exactly how and where your money is being spent you can make some decisions as to what you could change to make life easier.

user1473714858 Tue 13-Sep-16 09:04:09

Hi all,

thanks for your messages! The MSE budget planner looks really helpful but isn't it a lot of work to do it every month? Or do you have something which does this automatically?

@annielostit: how do you make sure that you are always on the cheapest tariffs and stuff like this?

Thanks for your help already smile

Drowzeee Tue 13-Sep-16 09:11:44

You don't need to do the budget planner every month though do you? MOst peoples budget is the same each month, it doesn't change.

As to the gas and electricity tariffs, you need to get your bill to see what taroff you are payng and then go onto one of the comparison sites to see if there is anything cheaper.

RatOnnaStick Tue 13-Sep-16 09:20:45

You just need to do it once to see where you stand financially. Then you can start to make plans. maybe do it a year later to see what's changed.

GoldFishFingerz Tue 13-Sep-16 09:27:09

Outgoings do change month to month though. Buying baby/school uniform, Xmas etc

specialsubject Tue 13-Sep-16 09:49:36

Make a list of everything you spend. Gas, water, electricity, insurance, broadband, phone, nappies, food, travel, toiletries, dentist, optician, cleaning stuff, clothes etc etc etc

Then add up your income. How does it look?

Er. ..internet shopping and box sets are not a life. You want to be.able.to go out, meet people, work, learn stuff.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 13-Sep-16 10:16:49

Definitely need to fill in the budget planner - you only need to do it once, then review it maybe every quarter, in case things like gas and electric have gone up. Make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, to maximise your income.

MSE is your friend for all this stuff - sign up to their weekly newsletter, you'll learn so much over time about little ways to get a bit extra cash (Quidco, money for switching gas and electric or bank accounts etc) and ways to save (discount vouchers etc). Every little helps and it all adds up over time. They have guides on how to save money on everything, including gas and electric, so that's always a good start.

It can help to think of your money in 3 or 4 groups.

1 - your regular monthly bills that come out of your current account (rent, council tax, gas and electric etc).

2. Irregular expenditures like Christmas, insurance, holidays if you can afford one, birthdays, dentist, contingency for prescriptions, broken washing machine etc.

3. Food and travel that you spend day to day. Children's clothes and essentials for DD - not extra treats, essentials.

4. What's left over is what you have available for 'having a life'. Only spend on this once you have accounted for everything else. Hopefully there will be something left for some sort of life. Being able to enjoy doing free stuff always helps - flask of coffee with DD in the park instead of expensive soft play/bought coffee etc.

You need to think about how to separate these out so you don't spend next week's food money on treats. Having more than one account helps and using internet banking to move money around. You need an account with enough money in to pay all the direct debits and then don't touch it for anything else. When you get paid, move the money for irregular expenditures to a separate account. Only take money out of this account when you need to pay a budgeted amount for insurance etc.

Separate the money out for food and travel - you could put this in another account, or withdraw cash, whatever works for you.

Then separate the money for fun stuff. You could combine this with your food/travel cash, but that depends on how disciplined you are - if you are in the habit of going on a spending spree on payday, only to find 2 weeks later you don't have bus fare to get to work, that's a problem that you need to overcome.

user1473714858 Tue 13-Sep-16 20:51:04

Hi all,

this is already super helpful!!!
So you do the budget with these planning tools or a spreadsheet I think? Isn't this a lot of work at the end/beginning of each month?

I saw some stuff where you can connect your bank account to the tools and then automatically get a budget and savings and stuff but you need to share your credentials (like in money dashboard). Do you use that at all or why not??

Many thanks!!
Melissa smile

Medicaltextbook Tue 13-Sep-16 21:10:57

Some great ideas and recommendations above about busgetting.

Just a caution when you are thinking about cutting back on things like Netflix. It might be the right thing to do but you need to know why your contract says. If you have a minimum length such as 12 months you might not be able to just cancel immediately without paying an early cancellation charge or some say you have to pay for the whole contract. If you can't cancel immediately you may be able to lower the costs such as cutting back on any extras.

If you do want to cancel give them notice. If you cancel things on the phone then I think it's good to keep a note of the date and time and who you spoke to. If on email keep a copy of the email.

I don't know about the tools or apps to manage budgets.

Medicaltextbook Tue 13-Sep-16 21:13:53

might be the right thing to do but you need to know why your contract says.

Should be what your contract says

gamerchick Tue 13-Sep-16 21:24:50

I think it would be more beneficial for you to do the work yourself so you learn about managing money from the sounds of it. Once you've learned how to do it yourself properly you won't need a bit of software to do it for you.

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