Monday, 30 December 2013

2014 Budget - bills

I've been brave and have dived into the paperwork to work out how much my monthly outgoings are to the penny.  I had a rough idea of what they were *insert embarrassed face here* but when I looked at each bill I got a wee shock from some of them.

I'm now paperless for most of them and confess that sometimes I don't look at them online.  But yesterday I looked at my December BT bill in detail.  I get free evening and weekend calls yet this month I only made 3 free calls.  I looked at my statement and discovered that apart from 2 official calls nearly all the other calls were to my MUM!!!! Total cost of calls £23.54!  On closer inspection of the fine print I've discovered that my free evening calls are from 7pm to 7am, not 6pm as I had assumed. DOH!!!

So, each month I automatically pay for

landline/broadband (BT)
mobile phone (Vodaphone)
pet insurance for Emma
bank charge
TV license
TKD fees (the Teenager)
NTS (National Trust for Scotland)
contact lenses (the Teenager)

I haven't set up a DD for electricity and gas yet but I will at the end of March after the next quarterly bill.  I'm going to send in my meter readings on the first of each month so I get an accurate bill and not an estimate.

I've paid my 2013/2014 council tax bill until April then the new financial year starts and I'll get my next bill.  I haven't decided yet whether to pay that monthly or in one lump sum.  Depends if I'm working full time and can save my earnings.

I've also just paid my car tax (6 months) and car insurance/breakdown cover.  I paid my house insurance in September when I moved in.  It's cheaper to pay insurance in one lump sum.

Next year the big bills look like this -

April - Council Tax
May - Car tax
August - gym membership
September - House Insurance
October - OU course (LAST ONE!!!!)
November - Car tax (unless I've paid for 12 months in May)
December - Car insurance/breakdown cover

I realise this isn't entertaining reading (LOL!!!) but writing it down reminds me what I need to pay.  And hopefully it might jog someone's memory.

Looking at the numbers closely clarifies a lot of things for me.  I've decided that while I'm earning from teaching I will save at least 50% of my salary each month.  This will ensure I have enough to pay the bills when they come round and can live on the other 50% each month.

I'm still aiming to save that £40k by the time I'm 50 :-)

Edited to add gym membership in August, perhaps a luxury but there are health issues in my family and I have a real fear of becoming overweight and inactive in old age


  1. We got caught out with BT as well, we always thought it was 6pm until I checked the bill and like you saw that we being charged :(
    It's good yo write it all down, makes you realise where it's all going!! x

  2. 'Doing the figures' is always shocking. Even for us with our transient lifestyle, we thought we could work part time for just some of the year and we would have enough to live on. The reality is that we need to earn at least one full time wage to just cover our basic outgoings. Whilst this is uncomfortable, it really is necessary. I think your idea of saving 50% of your wage whilst working will be a real benefit to you. We are living off our 'travelling money' for 2014 and saving all the money we earn which will give us a nice safety net, although it is a little disappointing that we cannot spend the next year just travelling.

  3. It's always good to know the true figures (if a little terrifying at first), but at least now you know and have planned things, so hopefully no unexpected whoppers landing on the door mat!!

  4. Would it be more cost effective to use your mobile phone to call your Mum? My plan allows for 300 minutes per month, and I struggle to use them. We have the landline as it is a condition of having broadband (a big con IMHO) but have never used it, and don't know the number. I would add that my plan costs me £5 a month for 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1G of data, and was a special offer from

  5. Yep, def need to look at my mobile minutes and make sure they get used. I'm on a plan that suited me in my old house where the landline was useless and I used my mobile to make all my calls

  6. It is not a bad idea to start plotting out your finances before the new year sets in. This will give you the bigger picture of what to expect for the next year, and make a good plan for it, just like what you did. How is it, btw? I hope everything is close to how you planned it, especially those with regard to paying your insurances and other miscellaneous.

    Steven Keltsch @ Allied Insurance Managers

  7. It’s good to know that you are well aware of your monthly bills, and are paying for them on time. Allotting the budget for your bills is really the way to go, so that you wouldn't strain your earnings too much. Anyway, I'm glad that you have insurance that have already been paid for. Doing so gives a lot of benefits without worrying to pay for it each time. Thanks for sharing that, Ali! All the best to you!

    Joshua Duncan @ Focus Insurance Atlanta