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Utility hell: How to manage the mountain of bills - Essential Living

Utility hell: How to manage the mountain of bills

Guide to Renting

It is a cruel irony of life that the things we least want to spend money on tend to be the most expensive. Servicing the car, getting the boiler fixed, paying for dental insurance – all of these things stack up (and quickly). In our youth we crave the independence of adulthood, yet when faced with the possibility of paying £40 a month for contact lenses, the desire to run into the bedroom and curl up into the fetal position becomes overwhelming.

We might be overdoing it a bit, but let’s face it: bills are a chore. Managing them is normally the absolute last thing anyone wants to do on a Thursday evening or at the weekend. ‘So how can I minimise the oh so real pain of organising my bills?’ we hear you cry.

Well, there are a number of possi-bill-ities [takes a bow]. Digitisation is by far and away the easiest route to go down. Nowadays only cavemen don’t use the web; if you’re still getting paper invoices through the post in 2017 then it’s amazing that your dial-up was able to load this website. Any bill you could possibly be asked to pay will be available electronically.

Get an app

One option is to use aggregator apps like WonderBill. The idea is that you log into your various accounts, be it your mobile operator or electricity provider, and the app gives you a running total. The app then organises this information into a rather satisfying hexagon, each side delineating the cost of the different utilities. However, WonderBill doesn’t do that one crucial thing you’d expect; you still have to pay the bills yourself. The app just provides a unified place to organise your bills and reminds you when to pay.

Use your calendar

Another more low-tech but equally effective method is to just pump the details into your calendar app. It’s easy enough to set up the reminder to run on a repeating basis. You can add the account details and even include a hint for that website’s password (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t forgotten the pernickety password requirements for some of these companies, a number here, a capital letter there, etc.). Although basic, this system requires minimal setup and does actually provide a rather effective means of reminding yourself to complete this cruel, cruel task.

Or alternatively…

Finally, for those luddites who do genuinely prefer getting a letter through the door once a month, there is quite a good little system: throw it all away! Just throw it away. Honestly, life is too short. Set up a direct debit and be done with it.


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