Gas, electricity, water, council tax, mortgage, line rental, internet, mobile phones, home insurance, car insurance… Sometimes the bills seem never ending and I know that there have been times when I’ve struggled to keep up. Our car insurance was due when Toby’s reflux was at its peak and I messed up with cancelling the renewal, we moved house not knowing that we had to pay two water companies; one for sewerage and one for the water supply. It can be a minefield and when you have children too, your concentration and time is even more thinly spread.

I recently wrote about how I’m organising my life and my blog better again after feeling like I was winging it since Toby’s birth. I love the feeling that I’m in control of my workload and that includes my blog, work, chores and bills so now everything is nicely planned out in my new pocket organiser. And breathe!

When we were saving for our house and our wedding back in 2013, Phil and I had spreadsheets for everything from our income, our necessary outgoings, our ‘luxury’ outgoings, wedding costs, house purchase costs and savings. We had a delicately balanced financial system and knew what was going on. As part of this, we also opened a current account that would maximise our money and theSantander 1/2/3 account really stuck out because you get cashback when you pay your direct debits from your account. What could be easier?

With the 1/2/3 account you get up to 3% cashback on selected household bills as well as 3% interest if your balance is between £3,000-£20,000 which makes it better than some savings accounts around. You pay a £2 monthly fee and must have at least 2 direct debits leaving your account each month then you can sit back and the rest is done automatically. I won’t go into figures, but we have certainly earned more in cashback that we’ve paid out in the monthly fee so from experience I can definitely say that the 1/2/3 account is worth looking into.

Santander have recently found that 26% of households don’t read their bills properly and a whopping 1 million plus don’t even open their bills at all. With those statistics, it’s easy to see that not managing your finances properly can lead to some really big problems, especially if one of those unopened bills contained a letter about a rise in your tariff price, for example. The Santander 1/2/3 account won’t open your bills for you, but it will give you a little extra cash which makes paying them feel a bit better. You can find out more here, including a cashback calculator to help you see what you may be able to earn by opening an account.

Phil and I want to give Toby the best opportunities and experiences in life that we possibly can, so keeping our finances in order is absolutely critical in order to achieve this. Obviously you can never foresee a boiler breaking or an expensive car repair, but being able to organise our money so that we can put a little aside both for treats and for savings means that in theory, we could manage better with an unexpected expense than if we weren’t keeping things in order.

How do you manage your household bills? Have you fallen into bad financial habits since having children? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

*This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are, as always, my own*

Budding Smiles