You got a shock when you opened that utility bill, didn’t you. How are you going to tell your spouse that you spent more than £100 extra on electricity this month? We don’t want anyone to hit the roof! Where are you going to find the money to pay off that unexpected bill? Is an instant cash payday loan the way to go, or are there other alternatives? Cashfloat is here with some quick and simple tricks on what to do when you get unexpected utility bills and how to avoid it in the future.
The worst thing you could do now is nothing. Although you might want to bury your head in the sand and forget about it, that bill won’t go away by itself so you are better off dealing with how you are going to pay off that unexpected bill now. Once you get over the shock, here is a plan of action to help you resolve the situation:
Check for a price rise: If the price of your utilities has risen without your knowledge, you will continue to get nasty shocks. Check for price rises or any other changes to your bill that will affect the price. When you get notifications from your utility company, make sure to read them carefully. They might look boring and unimportant, but they can save you further along the line.
Check that your meter is working: If your meter has broken, or is faulty, it will be reflected in your bill. The best way to check is by switching off all appliances in your home. If you have a pilot light, switch that off too. Then check to see if the meter is moving. If it is, contact your supplier immediately. If it does stop, turn on each appliance one at a time. If you see the meter start to turn very quickly, there may be a fault with that appliance.
Consider switching to prepaid: If you have had issues with paying your bills, consider switching to a prepaid meter. The key defining feature of a pay as you go meter is that you pay for the energy BEFORE you use it. You use a key or card to top up in the post office, newsagent, some garages or online. You can then only use the utility for however much you topped up, giving you complete control over how much you spend on your utilities. While the actual price of energy may be more, the total spending on utilities is often lower than with a standard meter.
Consider this;Each month, you set aside about £130 for your gas, electricity and water bills. One fine November morning, your TV breaks and you are forced to replace it with a new one. When your utility bills arrive, you realise that you don’t have the £130 that you normally set aside on hand. To make matters worse, your savings were cleaned out when you refurbished. Although you don’t fancy taking out a payday loan, you may not have a choice. If you don’t pay your bills soon, you will have extra fees and late payment charges added to your problems!
If this sounds familiar, a prepaid meter might just be the thing for you. By paying for your utilities before you use them, you only pay for what you can afford. A Pay as You Go meter forces you to use your utilities wisely. You can also keep track of how much you have left by checking the meter, so that you know if you need to be more careful. Pay as you go meters are often ideal for those who have difficulty keeping up with their bills since you cannot fall behind on payments with a meter.
Speak to your energy provider to discuss how much it would cost you to switch to prepaid. Almost all energy providers have at least one prepaid plan. Some are cheaper than others and some companies do the switch for free. If you are renting an apartment, check with your landlord to get approval for the switch.