How do you budget for bills?
Published 14 August 2013 by Linzi Nuttall
Do you have your own system in place to budget for your bills? Or do you not budget at all? After some research, we found that nearly 39 million Brits budget for their bills.
When you're budgeting for bills, do you have your own system in place to make sure you have enough money set aside? It could be as simple as keeping some money stashed away at home, or it could mean you run two accounts and transfer money between them.
We did a bit of research* into how Brits budget for their bills, and found that over three quarters of us (77% or nearly 39 million people) have some sort of system in place to ensure we have enough money set aside.
The 'bad budgeters'
We also found that over 11.5 million Brits don't do anything at all to ensure they have enough money set aside for bills.
Men appear more likely to adopt the 'do nothing' attitude, as 6.4 million (26%) avoid budgeting altogether, compared with just 5 million (20%) women.
Not doing anything at all to make sure there's enough money set aside to cover bills can lead to serious problems. If there's not enough money in your account for essential bills, you could end up facing hefty charges for missing payments which could potentially even damage your credit record.
If you think you might be a 'bad budgeter', the chances are you'd benefit from a thinkmoney Current Account (if you haven't got one already!). It could be a great way to help you get back in control of your finances because it budgets for you. You can find out more information about it here.
If you prefer to keep money set aside at home for your bills, you're not alone, as around 6.5 million (13%) Brits choose to do this.
Those living in London and the South East are twice as likely to stash some cash in their home as people living in Northern Ireland, the East of England and Yorkshire & the Humber (12% compared with 6% respectively).
Leaving cash at home does come with its disadvantages (such as the fact it won't be gaining any interest when lying on your mantelpiece), and it goes without saying that leaving large sums of money lying around at home can be a big theft risk.
The 'mental managers'
Almost 16 million (31%) adults in the UK manage their accounts 'mentally' by setting aside the amount needed for bills in their head.
When it comes to gender, it seems that women are much more likely to adopt this method, as 9 million (35%) feel this helps them set aside money effectively, compared with only 6.6 million (27%) men.
There also appears to be a significant difference in ages too, as more than one in three people aged 18-34 use 'mental maths' to budget, compared with only 25% of ages 55+.
People living in the West Midlands are more likely to be 'mental managers', as 37% feel this is the best way to budget, compared with just 26% of people in both London and the East Midlands.
The 'bank account budgeters'
A further 16 million (31%) Brits prefer to transfer their money to another bank account (such as a second current account or a joint account) in order to make sure they have enough for their bills.
Interestingly, it appears there is no difference between men and women, or even between age groups. The figures for men and women of all age groups are exactly the same, resting at 31%.
Budgeters in the East Midlands appear much more likely than Northern Ireland to put money in one of their other accounts, as 38% do this compared with only 19% respectively.
While nearly a third of Brits transfer their money into one of their own accounts, one in ten prefer to transfer their cash into someone else's account (such as a partner).
Do you budget in another way?
Our research found that over one in ten (11%) Brits do something else to ensure their bills are covered. Do you have your own budgeting system? If you do budget in another way, we'd love to hear how, and you can let us know via our Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.