Making the most of your money
Why should you budget?
There are many reasons why you should budget:
- It gives you a greater understanding of your own money situation.
- It helps you to plan ahead and see exactly where you money is going and who it is going to
- It shows you where you can make cutbacks/ increase spending.
- It is an extremely useful life skill, especially if you are having financial difficulties.
- If you are in debt it will help you to come up with a realistic plan for paying back creditors and take back control in your life.
- With budgeting you can learn to distinguish between what you actually need to spend on e.g. food, rent etc and what you like to spend money on e.g. cinema, going to the pub
It is important that you are aware of both your inflows and outflows of cash. This is why we suggest using our budget planner. It is an effective way of managing your money.
If your end figure is negative then it is time to start making some changes in your life, the budget planner (PDF, 117KB) will allow you to see what you actually need and where you are overspending.
Another important aspect of money management is to always pay your bills on time. Never ignore a bill; if you do it could have worse consequences, such as charges from your bank or damage to your credit rating. If you are having difficulty paying a bill then contact the supplier, as they may be able to arrange a payment scheme to manage your debt.
Know what’s available to you
- Maximise your income, you may be entitled to benefits that you are not getting, getting taxed too much on your income or even being overcharged for your bills.
- Make sure that you know what is available to you. If you are over 60, chronically ill or disabled, npower may be able to check what benefits are available to you.
- For tax issues ring your local tax office.
- If you are over 60 you may be entitled to cold weather payments.
- You may also be eligible for grants or if you have solar panels you could be entitled to a feed in tariff (which is where you get money back for electricity that you generate but don’t use).
- You could also be eligible for insulation grants from your gas or electricity company.
Which type of payment method suits you?
There are several types of payment method that may be available to you from npower,
Direct Debit - You’ll benefit from a daily discount in your standing charge on a continuous basis and this will, over each year, amount to a £90 discount if you choose both gas and electricity with npower and pay for both by Direct Debit (so there is no additional discount after twelve months - because it is already taken into account in the price you have been paying each day).
Prepayment meter – Prepayment meters enable you to pay for your fuel as you use it, instead of paying monthly or quarterly. Paying for your fuel this way allows you to manage your finances and only buy what you need. A prepayment meter can be installed to help you to clear an existing debt as it can be collected by your meter every week.
Pay online – it is a quick easy and manageable way to pay your bills. You can make big savings in comparison to your average standard bill. It comes with online account management, you can send meter readings, view and pay bills online plus much more.
Receipt of bill – you can pay by post via check or through your bank upon receipt of your bill. This is generally the most expensive method of paying for electricity and gas.
You should also be aware of what tariffs you are on. As well as the payment method, the tariff you are on may also reduce your bill. For further information on how to reduce your bill go to the gas and electricity tariffs page.
You should also be aware of what tariffs you are on. As well as the payment method , the tariff you are on may also reduce your bill. Go to the gas and electricity tariffs page to find out more.
Your discount: If you pay by Direct Debit, your daily standing charge will be discounted so that over a year you'll receive a discount of £40 on your electricity charges and £50 on your gas charges for paying by Direct Debit. If you stop paying by Direct Debit, you'll move on to the non-discounted version of your tariff. If this happens, we’ll let you know. Subject to change.