There’s more to managing your bills than you might think

We may all get them, but there are some big differences in how Australians like to receive and manage their bills. Age, pay frequency, annual income, and even gender play a role in how we tackle this aspect of everyday life.

We recently looked at the bill-paying behaviours of Australians and, while survey participants were talking about all bills, not just their electricity bills, the results are enlightening.1

How we like to get our bills

‘Snail mail’ is still the preferred way to receive a bill for 61 per cent of those surveyed, but as you may have predicted, younger customers (aged 18 to 24 years) are more in favour of receiving bills via email than any other age group. 

The majority of women prefer to receive a paper bill so they can file it and don’t run the risk of accidentally overlooking it in their email inbox. Of those who are keen to receive bills via email, men liked the idea because they could better track their expenses.


61 percent of people generally still prefer to receive their bill via ‘snail mail’.2


How we like to pay our bills

It’s probably no surprise that paying bills online is the preferred method for more than 60 percent of respondents, yet automatic direct debit payments are not as popular. 

There are two key reasons for this. Firstly, 40 percent of the 55-years and older age group didn’t want to give out their bank account details. Secondly, 61 percent of the males surveyed said they disliked direct debit as they preferred to check their bills first before paying them. 

Pay frequency also impacts bill payment. The 16 percent of respondents who are paid monthly were more consistent in paying their bills on time. However, the quarter who receive a weekly pay cheque were less structured, either paying their bill when they get got paid, or deciding to pay based on how they feel about the billing company or the size of the bill.

How we could be better supported

Paying bills on time can be tricky for lots of reasons; however 68 percent of respondents said a reminder would help them to pay their bills on time, while nearly half agreed that more frequent bills of smaller amounts would help them to better manage their budget. 

Origin bills

If you’re an Origin customer, you might have already heard about Origin’s EasiPay payment plan. It works by averaging your energy bill over a year and dividing it into more regular payments (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). We review the account regularly to make sure you’re paying the right amount.

We also offer SMS reminders to our customers before their bills are due.

As you would know, another way to manage your bill budget is to really understand your bill and what all the costs mean. Check out this step-by-step breakdown of your electricity bill:

How to read your energy bill

You might find this sample bill from Origin another handy explanation of electricity costs.

References

  1. Research conducted for Origin by Nature Research in August and September 2014, 1,143 respondents.
  2. Research conducted for Origin by Nature Research in August and September 2014, surveying 1,143 respondents.

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