Council tax starts back: How to budget for the bill
Published 19 March 2017 by Emily Bancroft
If you pay council tax over 10 months, you’ll have to start doing this again soon.
If you pay your council tax over 10 months – as many people in the UK do – you’ll have had the last two months off from the bill. But it also means your council tax payment is due to start at the end of March, so you’ll have an extra bill a month to budget for.
Don’t panic if you’re worrying that you won’t be able to afford your council tax if you’re already on a strict budget. We’ll take you through how to add the extra monthly bill into your household budget.
Setting a budget
The best way to stay in control of all of the bills you have to pay every month is to make a clear household budget, covering everything you have coming in and going out. Don’t have a household budget yet? Find out how to put one together in our definitive guide to budgeting.
Start by writing down all of the money you have coming in every month – that’s wages from any jobs you work and any benefits you get. You should also make a list of all of the bills you have to cover each month – so your rent or mortgage, your gas and electricity and your water bills, to name a few.
Don’t forget any bills that you might not pay every month, like your council tax or your TV licence. You still need to account for these, even if you don’t actually have to cover them every month of the year. By setting some money aside for them every month, it means you’ll be able to afford them when they come around.
So the best way to afford an extra bill you don’t have to pay every month is to just pretend you do have to pay it monthly.
Affording an extra bill
But what if you haven’t budgeted for a bill because you forgot you had to pay it or because you’ve only just started paying it? How do you factor this into your budget?
You need to start by taking a look at your existing household budget and trying to identify some areas where you can cut back. For example, could you afford to spend £5 less a month on work lunches by taking your own sandwiches? Or could you save some money by stopping paying for a gym subscription and just going for a run instead?
Help with your budgeting
Another way you could stay in control of your budgeting is with the thinkmoney Current Account. All you need to do is tell us about your regular bills and we’ll make sure to hold enough money for all of the important things. This means you’ll avoid any missed payment charges and make sure that you always pay your bills on time.
And what’s more, you can get extra help with your budgeting from our Money Managers. If you’ve got any questions about managing your finances or affording your monthly bills, just give them a call – they’ll be happy to help.
The thinkmoney Current Account has a monthly management fee of £17.50 for a single account or £24.50 for a joint account – you can find out more about it here.