One of the easiest ways to pay for your gas, electricity and water bills is by direct debit, on a monthly or quarterly basis.
With most gas and electricity companies billing on a quarterly basis, budgeting for paying the bill can be difficult, especially as most people get paid on a monthly basis. Most also pay rent or a mortgage, and most other bills, monthly.
The other difficulty with gas, and to an extent electricity, is the increase in usage through the colder and darker winter months. This makes bills substantially higher, as heating and lighting is used more in your house through the season.
Paying by direct debit can counter this problem. Direct debits can be set up in two ways. One way, which is the most useful for budgeting over the whole year, is to pay a fixed amount monthly, which the company will work out at the beginning of the year based on your usage over the past 12 months.
This means that you will be in credit during the summer months, but this credit will be eaten up when you aren’t paying as much during the more expensive winter months.
Make sure you keep an eye on your bills if paying this way, as the companies estimates aren’t always accurate, and could be wrong both ways.
The other direct debit option involves paying the full amount each quarter, which will ensure you are never late with paying your bill. Companies often offer a discount to customers paying by direct debit as they know they’ll receive your money on time.