How to keep your household bills on track

posted by in Budgeting

As the largest consumer body in the UK, Which? exists to arm you with the information you need when considering where to spend your money. They’ve developed ’emindme’, a handy email reminder tool that helps you keep track of what bills you need to pay and when. Grace Kindred from Which? tells us more…

Managing bills can be complicated and time-consuming. If you forget to pay your bills and don’t deal with the situation correctly, arrears can build up and become difficult to deal with. However, there are steps you can take to help you be more organised when it comes to your finances.

In addition to keeping to a budget and looking for the best shopping deals, being able to know exactly what you’re due to pay and when is key to having a healthy budget.

Have you ever…

  • been caught out at the end of ‘exclusive’ fixed-term contracts and moved onto higher-priced standard deals?
  • been taken by surprise when a bill has dropped on the doorstep with no warning?
  • lost track of when your bills are due?
  • found yourself having to do the same research year after year for the best way to save, buy or upgrade your household services?

That’s where emindme comes in.

What is emindme?

emindme reminder setup screen

It’s a brand new bill email reminder service. You put in your details and you’ll then get an email at the point you need to be reminded. Easy to use and free of charge, emindme helps you stay on top of your household bills, contracts and insurance policies.

As well as ensuring you never miss an important payment date again, emindme can help you understand your options, suggest ways to lower your bills and find the best suppliers for you with relevant information about our services.

Here are some examples of what emindme can be used for:

  • It can let you know when your car’s MOT is due, so you can get the money together ahead of time
  • It can alert you when an introductory offer on a broadband package comes to an end
  • It can tell you when your TV licence needs renewing. Your TV licence is a priority bill and not paying it can bring serious consequences, so you don’t want to miss the payment date
  • It can give you a nudge when an important upcoming birthday is approaching, in case you plan on saving up for a present

How to use emindme

close up of screen of tabletEmindme can be set up in two simple steps:

  1. Enter dates for as many bills, household contracts or events as you like
  2. Enter your name and email address and hit ‘save and finish’

Add as many reminders as you like and you can specify how far in advance you’d like to be reminded about your event. We’ve added categories into the reminder set-up, so you can easily remind yourself what you’re paying for and when.

The service is completely hassle-free and you won’t be contacted by any other organisations with marketing and your details will not be shared.

You can cancel and change reminders you have set up and you won’t receive any other emails from the service on top of these.

Man using a laptopForward planning is key to staying on top of your finances. Schedule your bills to be paid only when there is money in your account – this will prevent you from unintentionally using your overdraft, or being caught unaware. You can even set up a reminder for up to two years in the future.

We hope the reminders will help you get on the front foot when managing your household bills.

 

Do you have other tools to help me manage my money?

Glad you asked!

Which? are committed to making your life easier wherever possible, so we’ve put together a number of handy tools that can help you in several areas of your budget and general life.

Students throw their mortarboards in the airAre your children in the middle of their A-Levels? Have they started thinking about which uni they’d like to go to?

Our A-Level Explorer widget can help them decide by matching their A-Levels to the university best suited to their passions.

 

Many consumer websites (MoneyAware included) talk about the benefits of regularly price-checking your energy bills against other suppliers. Our popular utility switching tool can let you know if you could getting a better deal elsewhere.

Ever feel like you’re not getting the broadband speed you’re paying for each month? Our broadband speed tool can tell you how much bandwidth you’re getting for your buck. It can help you put together evidence of slow broadband should you need to complain to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Do you use a tool, calendar or some other reminder to keep track of your bills? Have you used emindme or any of Which?’s other handy tools? Let us know in the comments.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 8 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games, watching anime, reading and creative writing in her spare time (currently writing a Young Adult fantasy series). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She's also written comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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