Don’t skimp on these essential family costs

Bills, bills, bills – sometimes it seems like life is a never ending demand for payment from one person or another. And as we approach the festive season, we can start to think about how we could save money and what we could possibly do without. Whilst this may be an admirable and prudent thought process, we should always be careful that we only cut back on spending which really is non-essential. Below I have outlined five household bills you really shouldn’t be skimping on….

Insurance

Insurance is there to compensate us in the event of something unexpected happening. Some insurance types are of course mandatory (such as car insurance) whilst other “lifestyle” insurance types (such as pet or travel insurance) are optional. However, in reality, if something went wrong while you were on holiday, you would be faced with a huge bill without insurance cover. 

Boiler servicing

Boiler servicing is a pretty unexciting thing to spend your money, but really is something you should not cut back on. Not only is servicing important to keep your boiler running efficiently, it’s also important to get regular services from a safety perspective – this guide from emo contains some useful information on this. In addition to safety, you really don’t want your boiler breaking down in the middle of winter!

Mortgage

If you are going to pay one bill above all others pay your mortgage each month. By getting behind on your mortgage you not only risk your home being repossessed but can cause an adverse impact on your credit score. Of course, you could fall into financial difficulty, which means could physically cannot afford to pay it, but unless that is the case, put off other unsecured debt before missing any mortgage payments.

Council Tax

After all the normal deductions, some people are loathe to hand another load of cash to the local council each month. That said, without paying council tax we would not be able to fund the local services we all consume. One thing councils are good at is chasing money. A missed payment will almost certainly result in one demand for payment followed by a summons if the original amount has not been settled. Contrast this without other bills (such as utility providers) where you can usually exert much more leeway before you end up in court.

In conclusion you should of course try and pay every bill on time. However, If you are finding it difficult to pay for everything each month, strip out all the non-essential spending before you look at not paying more important bills. Whilst cancelling a gym or magazine subscription may be irritating in the short term, it really won’t make a long term difference to your standard of living. However, missing a mortgage payment can impact your chances of being able to get credit in the future, which you will notice much more than not popping to the gym after work or reading a magazine on the train.

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