Get Yourself FinLit

Beginners Guide to Bills

Bills are kind of like sad movies. They’re heartbreaking at the time, but once they’re over, you feel pretty good about life. Not only does paying bills make you into a Proper Adult, but it gives you access to lots of stuff you need to survive. Paying bills and reaping their benefits should really be a cause for celebration. So how do you manage your bills like a boss?

What bills?

Well, there’s internet, electricity, gas, water and the phone bill, to name a few. This stuff is pretty much non-negotiable for living your life. You need electricity for light, water for drinking and the internet for memes and cute animal vids. You know, the essentials.

If you’re not already paying for these things, you will be eventually, and there’s no time like the present to figure out how to organise this stuff. It’s worth noting that for all these services, there are good deals and not so good deals, so you might as well shop around for the good ones. To compare energy and gas companies, check this . For phone plans, look here and this should help for internet deals.

But like, how do you actually pay them?

There are a bunch of different ways to pay your bills. The old school method is to take the bill down to your local post office and pay it over the counter. But seriously, nobody wants to leave the house just to pay a bill.

For those of us who have good internetting skillz, it’s super simple to set up a direct debit system with the bank. This way, the bill money automatically comes out of your account whenever it’s due. No late bills, no worries. If you need a hand setting one up, just jump on the phone with your bank.

One problem with the direct debit system is that bills often creep up and become a bit of a shock to your account balance. It’s fine if you have a steady income and extra funds sitting in your account. But picture this: it’s Friday, you’ve just been paid and you’ve got some epic plans for a luxurious weekend of fun times and maybe a cheeky bit of mischief. You knock off work at 5pm, moonwalk out the door whistling I Feel Good by James Brown, only to realise that your entire household’s three-month electricity bill got directly debited from your account. BAM! You’re officially broke for the weekend and your housemates can’t afford to pay you back straight away.

Stuff that. One way to avoid this kind of situation is to open up a joint account with all your housemates. This can be a communal account where you all deposit your rent and bill money. Then you can setup a direct debit from there.

This information is intended to be general in nature only and might not apply to your personal circumstances. When in doubt always seek professional guidance.

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