ways of paying your bills.
To find out about different ways you can pay your bills, select
Making a weekly budget for paying your
To keep a budget it is important that you know how much you have
to spend on your regular bills. It can be hard to work out how
much we spend on bills each week because:
At different times
of the year we may use more gas, water
or electricity. especially in the winter
months for extra light and heat.
We might pay bills weekly, fortnightly,
monthly, quarterly or every six months.
Quarterly bills: Quarterly
means that every quarter of the year there is a bill. A quarter
means one out of 4 – so if you divide 12 months (of a year)
by 4 = 3 months. So a quarterly bill covers a period of 3 months
and comes 4 times a year.
Many bills are sent every 3 months (every quarter).
This can mean that there is a lot to pay at
You will usually be sent a reminder if you don't
pay the bill when it comes.
It is a good idea if you are budgeting to put
money to one side so that you can pay the bill when it comes.
Keep your old bills so that you have an idea
of how much to save.
So how can you
budget to put enough money aside every week?
First you have to multiply by 4 – this is
to find out about how much you have to spend per year. Then you will
divide that amount by 52 – because one year has 52 weeks.
My last gas bill was £147 for a quarter.
£147 x 4 = £588 (This is the amount for a year)
£588 divided by 52 = £11.31 (to the nearest penny)
I should save £11.31 a week for gas.
Work this out for yourself.
My last electric bill was £65 for a quarter. How much should I
save weekly? You can use our pop-up
calculator for that.
Does your answer sound reasonable?
Monthly bills: You can convert
monthly bills as well so you can make a weekly budget. Because
one year has twelve months, you have to multiply the amount by
12 and then divide it by 52 to get the weekly amount you should
My last electricity bill was £20 for a month
£20 x 12 = £240 (this is the amount for the year)
£240 divided by 52 = £4.62 (to the nearest penny)
I should save £4.62 a week for electricity.
What if I can’t pay the bills?
If you make your
own budget it can help you to manage your money so you have
enough to pay your bills. Nevertheless, it might happen that you
can’t pay the bills.
Spreading the cost of payments can take away the
pain of large bills. If you have a bill that you can't pay then phone
your supplier and speak to one of their advisers. They will give you
a number of options.
Remember when you phone to:
Allow plenty of time – it can take a long
time to get connected.
Be patient and polite – the person who
answers the phone is just trying to do a job.
Have everything to hand – you will need
paper and a pen as well as any bills or letters that you have been
Make a note of when you called, who you spoke
to and what was agreed.
owe money you may be asked to pay more than you can afford. Make
list of the money you have coming in and the money you are paying
out. Have this in front of you when you call
or write. Explain any difficulties that you have been having.
If you are
still being asked for too much ask for any action to be put
on hold to allow you time to go to an advice centre, such as
the Citizens Advice Bureau.
In the meantime keep paying as much as you can. You may also want to look at our Dealing with debt section.
Gas and electricity bills and meter readings
Before you get your gas or electricity bill,
the company should take a meter reading.
They do not always do this and may estimate
reading – they are guessing how much
you have used. This estimate is very likely
to be more than you actually used but you
can do the meter reading yourself and get
the estimate corrected.
Take a look at the meters below: most meters show numbers, although
some will have dials.