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Missed bills: cost of running a home soars

One in eight people with traditional bank or building society accounts will miss a bill payment in the next four weeks, and many will cut back on their essential spending so they can cover these costs.

That’s the finding of the most recent Bill Barometer from MoneySuperMarket, which reveals the cost of running the Great British home has risen to a collective £405 billion a year, with rising bills at the centre of this increase.

Bills, bills, bills

The bills consumers are most likely to miss each month, according to the Barometer, are for credit card or loan repayments, childcare or mortgage/rent. These are arguably among the most vital outgoings – but when one in 20 respondents reveal they spend more than £1,000 a month just on their rent or mortgage, it’s easy to understand why budgeting for it all is so tough.

More worryingly, a third of people who admitted they have missed a payment for an important bill in the last year said they had been “hounded” as a result. Others said they had been subject to penalties or additional charges, and some respondents revealed their credit rating had been affected as a result.

Making ends meet

Research we conducted in January* found that one third of people in the UK ignore their bills when they arrive simply because they don’t have enough money to pay them. Meanwhile, a further one in three said there have been times when a bill has arrived and they haven’t paid it because they’d already spent the money they needed for it.

When you have so many outgoings – and the number of outgoings far exceeds the number of incomings – it’s little wonder that it’s so difficult to budget. You might think you’re juggling it all and have budgeted enough to cover your bills and then one you’d completely forgotten about takes you by surprise. Then, if that takes you over your limit, you could end up being charged by your bank too.

With a thinkmoney account, this doesn’t happen. In return for a single monthly fee, we manage your money for you to make sure that all of your important bills are paid every month – and there are never any late fees.

When your wage and/or benefits are paid into your account each month, we work out exactly how much you need to budget for your bills like mortgage/rent, utilities, debt repayments, etc. and transfer what’s left over from this into your card account. You’re then free to spend this safe in the knowledge that your bills are covered.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 10th January and 15th January 2014.

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