The simplest way to save on bills? Check them
Starting off on saving money can feel difficult. Maybe you picture having to go through reams of paperwork, or spend hours online comparing the minutiae of different services. But, that’s not true at all. One of the easiest, and most effective ways to save straightaway, is to check your bills and statements, as recent problems from phone provider Vodafone may attest to.
A new billing system at Vodafone has ended up in thousands of people airing grievances such as double charging, or payments being taken even after they’ve cancelled. Credit agencies may have also wrongly been told customers are missing payments.
Vodafone customers should check their bills and their bank statement to make sure that everything is how they would expect. Money Saving Expert suggest checking you’re on the right tariff and also that you’re getting your bills as expected.
Checking all of your bills and statements should be something you do regularly – it helps you keep tabs on your money management and the more you do it, the more attuned you will be into spotting mistakes.
Money management tips
We would suggest picking a day every month, and using a calendar or app to make sure you don’t forget. That way you are making a habit of it and once you make a habit of something, it becomes second nature to do it.
Another good thing to do is to choose the right payment method. Direct debits are usually the cheapest and easiest way to pay your bills, but there are other ways. You may choose to post a cheque, for example, or pop into the Post Office. Don’t forget though that some of these alternatives rely on you remembering to go in and pay – forgetting to do so could land you in a spot of bother.
There are also lots of ways you can cut the costs of your household bills. There’s always lots of talk around switching your energy supplier – and for good reason. You could chop hundreds off your bill in as little as 20 minutes. There are also ways you can cut your home phone and broadband bill, and your mobile phone.
Credit rating – why it matters
One question mark over Vodafone’s billing issues is whether this has affected customer’s credit ratings. When you apply for credit, lenders will check your credit report to give them an indication of how well you’ve managed your credit in the past – have you always paid your bills on time, for example.
Items such as missed or late payments can stay on your credit report for up to six years, so it is very important that you check everything is as it should be, as lenders can refuse you credit based on your credit score.
If something doesn’t seem right, contact your credit agency and try to get it fixed.