How much do you spend on your monthly bills? Have you always paid the same amount, or have you noticed a change in the outgoings in recent years?
While it’s advisable to shop around to see if you can get a better deal on your energy – especially as any fixed-term contracts come to an end – there are certain factors that mean your bills could be different to those paid by other Brits. But why is this the case?
Here, we talk through what monthly payments look like across the UK and what this means for your outgoings.
The big picture
To get an idea of how your bills look in comparison with the overall average, it’s worth taking a look at the latest findings from Ofgem. When a standard variable tariff comes in at over £1,100 and the cheapest tariff is just under £900, it’s clear that there could be savings available.
So, what are the things that make a difference to the amount we pay?
This is a key factor in how much you pay for energy and broadband bills in particular. The larger the house, the more energy that will be consumed. Big spaces and properties with several rooms take longer to heat, therefore more energy is used.
Similarly, if there are a few bedrooms that require access to the TV or Wi-Fi, this will need a robust broadband package that can prove costly.
Number of people
The number of people living in a property is another huge factor. A couple in a two-bedroom flat are less likely to use the amount of energy as a family of five in a four-bedroom house.
If, for example, your household comprises two teenagers and your partner, that’s four people who will be watching TV, needing to switch lights on in different rooms and accessing the Wi-Fi. These are all key considerations when you think about the energy you use and the amount you pay for it.
Where you live in the UK is also a significant variable. If you reside in the capital, you are likely to spend more than someone in the north of England on things like council tax, your mortgage and energy supplier.
One of the main things that can be impacted by where you’re based is your broadband payments. Different areas in the UK have access to faster connections, and Brits pay for these increased speeds. Similarly, mobile coverage is impacted by where you’re located. It’s worth checking that you’re not paying too much for very basic connectivity across your devices.
The way you pay for your bills can also be significant. Costs can vary depending on whether you pay for them monthly or annually, so it’s worth working out which is best for your budget.
While you could always take out a form of credit to cover your outgoings, it’s worth exploring the options that are available to you before you commit. Direct Debit, for example, is a sure-fire way to ensure you don’t miss a payment. However, by using this method it can be easy to get into the habit of paying out without checking to see if you could be due to switch for a better offer.
Where does your household sit when it comes to monthly bills? Could you get a better deal with online shopping around or changing how you pay?