Household finances are growing in complexity by the day, with an increasing number of payments, bills and Direct Debits needing to be taken care of.
New research from thinkmoney has revealed that nearly half of bill-payers have six or more standing orders or Direct Debits to keep track of every month.
Given the possibility that new car tax rules could also be introduced, that figure could increase yet further in the months ahead. Some people in the survey even had to contend with more than ten regular bill payments that would need to come from two or more different incomes every month.
Lots of outgoings to manage
The survey found that 48% of people have six or more regular outgoings to track while there is a wide range of bills that need to be paid. Rents and mortgage payments often top the pile but there is also gas and electricity bills, water rates and council tax to pay among many other outgoings.
Mobile phone contracts, different insurance policies, credit card repayments, the television licence and TV and broadband subscriptions also needed to be taken into account in most cases.
This means that one in five people – around 9.5 million of the population – are juggling multiple outgoings every month. Being able to pay via Direct Debit may increase these figures further still, as more services are providing it as a suitable payment method.
Road tax can now be paid in monthly instalments following the digitalisation of the service, replacing the older method where it was paid yearly or every six months.
Car tax is also no longer transferrable when a vehicle is sold so it means more payments will be due when cars are sold onto a new owner.
Juggling multiple incomes
The situation for many households can be further complicated if people are paid at different times
Nearly half of the people in the survey with an income said two or more people are crediting their accounts every month.
Income from second jobs, child benefits, tax credits or any other benefits could be paid at any time, and this all needs to be managed.
Around 4.5 million people receive four or more different incomes a month, which makes budgeting even more difficult. Some people may choose to use other accounts to pay bills from, while another option is to load up a prepaid card to cover essential household expenditure.
Regularly checking accounts and staying on top of everything is essential, especially in the run up to Christmas when outgoings may be larger than usual.