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  • FIRST POST
    • sacha28
    • By sacha28 21st Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    • 756Posts
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    sacha28
    Account for bills
    • #1
    • 21st Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    Account for bills 21st Apr 17 at 11:49 AM
    Partner and I have had the realisation that something has to change after what can only be described as the most awful couple of weeks financially and have decided that we need to open a bank account for bills that we can each deposit into.

    What are the best basic accounts? All we need is an account that allows DD's, we don't want a card or anything else as it will literally be just for the payment of bills.

    Also, how easy is it to try and align all payment dates? We both get paid at different points of the month so it's going to take some organisation to bring everything together so we can ensure the correct amount is in the account but think this would be easier if the bills went out around the same time?

    Any help would be appreciated, thank you
Page 1
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 21st Apr 17, 12:21 PM
    • 12,238 Posts
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    jimjames
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:21 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:21 PM
    I'm sure most companies will allow you to move bill dates.

    However you're probably better off keeping a balance in the account and if you open an account that pays a decent rate of interest then it means you'll get paid interest on all the money there too.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 21st Apr 17, 12:26 PM
    • 51,388 Posts
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    grumbler
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:26 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:26 PM
    >> Basic Bank Accounts

    Re the dates, you can ask the providers, but some may not change it.
    IMO, It's much easier just to make sure that the amount needed for all bills is in the account at the start of each month.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
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    • EarthBoy
    • By EarthBoy 21st Apr 17, 1:29 PM
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    EarthBoy
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 17, 1:29 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 17, 1:29 PM
    You won't get a basic bank account if you've already got a current account. Banks reserve the basic accounts now for people with financial difficulties who can't get an ordinary current account.

    Any ordinary current account can be used to pay your bills. They all come with a debit card, but you don't have to use it.
    • carlyfluck
    • By carlyfluck 21st Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    • 48 Posts
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    carlyfluck
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    I use the NatWest reward account, currently get 3% cash back on a variety of different bills. However I have heard they are lowering the rate to 2%. There is a charge of £3 a mo th for this account so try the calculator to see if it's worth your while.
    Contacted stepchange nov2012 debt 17,000
    DFD Nov2020 2018June2017
    Oct13 £11,892
    April 2017 Total debt £791.91😀😀😀
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 21st Apr 17, 4:02 PM
    • 8,623 Posts
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    teddysmum
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 4:02 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 4:02 PM
    I use the NatWest reward account, currently get 3% cash back on a variety of different bills. However I have heard they are lowering the rate to 2%. There is a charge of £3 a mo th for this account so try the calculator to see if it's worth your while.
    Originally posted by carlyfluck


    There's no need for a calculator :


    The £3 fee takes the 3% interest from the first £100 of bills, so you only get 3p for every £1 over £100.


    When the rate drops to 2% with a £2 fee the same applies, but with 2p in the £1 for bill amounts over £100.


    Eligible bills are gas, electric, water, council tax, broadband and mobile phone, only.
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 21st Apr 17, 6:15 PM
    • 2,543 Posts
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    Dobbibill
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:15 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:15 PM
    Why don't you leave your bills where they are and open a spending account - it's much easier to move your spending money on pay day than to move all your bills before pay day (unless you are doing a full switch)
    I'm a Board Guide on the Energy, Student Money Saving, UK Armed Forces and
    Local Money Saving - Wales boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.


    A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.
    • ozaz
    • By ozaz 22nd Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    ozaz
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:26 PM
    I use Santander 123 Lite for paying my bills due to the cashback it pays on direct debits.

    There's a £1/month account fee but it pays 1 to 3% cashback on various Direct Debits. I expect to get approx £60/year back on expenditure of ~ £4300/year after deducting the account fee.

    I would get roughly the same net amount back from Natwest Reward account when it switches to a £2/month, 2% cashback structure in June.

    I just went with Santander because I already had an account with them.
    Last edited by ozaz; 22-04-2017 at 3:31 PM.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 22nd Apr 17, 3:52 PM
    • 3,305 Posts
    • 6,087 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:52 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:52 PM
    The Santander 123 Lite is the obvious choice, or the full 123 if you can make the credit interest work for the additional monthly fee.

    However, to open new accounts you will need to pass credit checks etc... is that likely to be an issue?

    I'd also question the wisdom of aligning bill payment dates. If you have a difficult month and then all your bills become due at the same time you may be in a position where something has to go unpaid, potentially with late payment/returned item/overdraft charges. May be less of an issue if all the bills are due just after you get paid. However, bills spread through the month gives you some flexibility, giving you more opportunities to find an extra bit of money if needed to make sure the bills are paid.

    One thing to look out for is free text alerts if the balance on the account drops below a certain level - that way you'll know in advance if a bill payment is going to fail and they act as a reminder to make sure the balance on the account has been topped up. If it isn't your main account you may not get into the habit of regularly checking.
    • sacha28
    • By sacha28 23rd Apr 17, 8:56 AM
    • 756 Posts
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    sacha28
    Why don't you leave your bills where they are and open a spending account - it's much easier to move your spending money on pay day than to move all your bills before pay day (unless you are doing a full switch)
    Originally posted by Dobbibill
    Thank you for this advice Dobbibill, this is the exact action we have gone for. Sometimes it's difficult to see the wood for the trees when trying to sort yourselves out!

    We are, somewhat, financially delinquent and haven't had a proper handle on where our money goes. We are debt free since we each took out a DRO (discharged 3 years now) but still find ourselves living hand to mouth every single month and it's soul destroying when we both work so hard and yet seem to have nothing to show for it! Yesterday we sat down and actually communicated and did several spreadsheets so we could see what goes out and when. It feels so liberating just to have a plan!!!

    Thank you all for your advice, it has been very much appreciated and got us talking for the first time in a couple of years (we somehow got into the trap of burying our heads in the sand which you would have thought we had learned not to do after the DRO).
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 23rd Apr 17, 9:25 AM
    • 2,071 Posts
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    Ben8282
    I'm not sure that opening a new account for this purpose is a good idea. I think you would be better off leaving the money in one account and reducing any overdraft use or potential overdraft use on the account. Each month, on the desired date, you account for the total of your bills as if you had transferred the money to a different account and treat this money as spent and not there until it is actually paid out.
    • sacha28
    • By sacha28 23rd Apr 17, 9:39 AM
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    sacha28
    I'm not sure that opening a new account for this purpose is a good idea. I think you would be better off leaving the money in one account and reducing any overdraft use or potential overdraft use on the account. Each month, on the desired date, you account for the total of your bills as if you had transferred the money to a different account and treat this money as spent and not there until it is actually paid out.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    We don't have any overdrafts but thank you for taking the time to reply.
    We've made the decision to leave the bills going out of the account they already go out of and have set up a SO to a 'spend' account so we know exactly how much we have to spend on things like fuel and food etc. We have also 'allowed' ourselves a monthly 'personal allowance' which will come out of the 'spend' account as I was starting to feel a little resentful that the big bills (rent, for example) are paid out of my wage, leaving very little for anything else. We have agreed, and indeed already impplemented, changes that have actually made me feel positive about finances since our discharge from the DRO
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 23rd Apr 17, 9:43 AM
    • 4,276 Posts
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    Heng Leng
    As others have suggested, opening another account for spends is probably the way to go - this can be another current account or even a savings account with a ATM card.

    Who is your current account provider?
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 23rd Apr 17, 9:50 AM
    • 3,305 Posts
    • 6,087 Thanks
    EachPenny
    ...several spreadsheets so we could see what goes out and when. It feels so liberating just to have a plan!!!
    Originally posted by sacha28
    This is absolutely key when you are in debt, or very nearly there. You need to understand where every pound goes each month to work out which ones can be saved and used for something else instead. It sounds like a lot of hassle, but once you understand your outgoings, and cut back where necessary, you will start to build up a surplus that takes the financial and emotional pressure off.

    Then you can actually start enjoying spending a little bit extra knowing you can afford it, rather than worrying about the next bill.

    Good luck, I hope your new approach works out well
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 23rd Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    • 2,543 Posts
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    Dobbibill
    Have you completed a SOA?
    (You don't need to post it but use it, it's a good starting point)
    This allows you to give every single penny a job!

    It makes you think about annual bills as well as vets (if you have pets), haircuts, car parking etc .....the little things that are often forgotten about on a monthly basis.

    If you need to, use savings accounts to put money aside for things like Christmas, birthdays etc then do it so it is moved from your main and/or spending account. Getting it started is the hardest bit, then it becomes 'the norm'.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Energy, Student Money Saving, UK Armed Forces and
    Local Money Saving - Wales boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.


    A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.
    • sacha28
    • By sacha28 23rd Apr 17, 12:11 PM
    • 756 Posts
    • 1,151 Thanks
    sacha28
    We completed an SOA shortly after the DRO but haven't done it since. It would probably be a good idea although we haven't added any debt as we are both terrified of ending up in the awful position we were in prior to the DRO. It just seems that we've been spending little bits here, little bits there on absolutely nothing and it alls builds up. I am positive that the personal allowance we have given ourselves will stop the pointless spending!

    It's also difficult figuring out how much we will each be paid! I'm an NHS worker and my wage varies from month to month and it's difficult figuring out the amount, I have tried on many occasions and yet been so wrong when pay day comes about! My other half is also on a zero hours contract so he never knows how much he's going to get paid as his monthly hours vary so much. We'll get there, I'm sure. This plan WILL work!!!
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 23rd Apr 17, 12:16 PM
    • 2,543 Posts
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    Dobbibill
    Always base your SOA on your lowest pay - anything above is a bonus and can be put into the holidays/Christmas/treats category as a top up.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Energy, Student Money Saving, UK Armed Forces and
    Local Money Saving - Wales boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.


    A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.
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