New year, new energy bill - are you sure you're paying enough?
Published 4 January 2013 by Joel Stanier
The winter months mean more expensive energy bills - and with prices rising recently, now is a good time to take a fresh look at your budget.
If the expense of Christmas wasn't enough for you, now comes the small matter of your first winter energy bill. Energy prices rose by an average of 7.6% at the end of last year, so many of us are facing bigger bills and more pressure on our finances.
Moneysupermarket.com says that people on standard tariffs (paying for exactly what they use month-by-month) will pay an average of £530.36 for the current quarter - 40% of their total annual bill (£1,325.90).
But even those who pay the same amount every month by direct debit will need to make sure their payments have increased accordingly - or they could find themselves with costly arrears to pay further down the line.
If in doubt, contact your energy provider
A lot of bill-payers fall behind because they simply don't realise prices have gone up. Others may not realise that energy providers don't automatically adjust direct debit payments when prices change. Both of these things can mean you're not paying enough, leaving you with arrears that must be repaid in the future.
It's easy enough to avoid this as long as you regularly provide your energy supplier with meter readings, and ask them if you're paying enough to cover your usage. Although you might find you have to increase your payments, it's better than finding out you have big arrears to pay later on.
And it's also worth comparing energy deals online to see if you could be paying less. This can make a real difference to your finances, especially if you haven't switched for a few years.
Need help with budgeting?
If you're the kind of person who falls behind because they struggle to budget, you're not alone. Energy bills can be complicated, and a bit of additional help with managing your finances can make all the difference.
That's where the personalised budgeting service that comes with the thinkmoney Current Account can help. At the start of each month, money for all the bills and other expenses you've told us about is put to one side, ensuring you won't fall behind on anything important.
In addition, you'll never be charged for missing payments or going overdrawn. All you'll pay is a monthly fee of £14.50 (£21.25 for joint accounts).
Find out more about the thinkmoney Current Account here.
Quick and easy to apply
Apply for a thinkmoney Current Account today.