Working out your personal budget

Are you paying too much for your phone calls?

Check your phone contract is the best you can find. You may be able to make big savings if you switch phone companies. Another way to cut costs is to use an 'override provider'. You won't have to change your phone line but by dialling a prefix number, you could cut the cost o​f daytime calls and calls to mobiles.

Even if you don't want to change your phone company, there are other ways to cut down on your phone bills.

  • Pay by direct debit.
  • Use the internet. If you have access to the internet, you may be able to talk for free using software such as Skype.
  • Check your contract. Are there extras such as voicemail that you don't really need? If you have an expensive 'unlimited anytime' package, do you really need it? ​
  • See if your phone company has a social tariff. This may be helpful if you are on certain benefits and only use your phone occasionally.
  • See if you can switch to paperless billing. If you agree to get your bills online, you could save some money. ​

Extra advice:

disconnected phone?

If you have been disconnected, treat the bill as a non-priority debt.

Dealing with your non-priority debts

An outstanding bill

If you have a bill that you cannot afford to pay and you want to keep the phone line, ask your phone company if you can pay by instalments. Your phone company may be more likely to agree if you set up a monthly payment plan, perhaps by direct debit. They may also agree to let you have only incoming calls for a short time to help reduce your bills. When you have cleared your arrears, you may then be able to go back to your normal phone package.