Friday, October 19, 2012

Avoiding Utility Bill Spikes During Peak Seasons

It's that time again! We've had a few weeks of nice weather where we didn't need heating or cooling, but the nights have become very chilly and we've flipped the switch to warm the air several times late in the evening. All this means is that soon those higher gas bills will start rolling in. So, here's a tip I've used to take the sting out of those spiking bills.

First, I went online and viewed my past 12 months bills cost. We live in a 3 bedroom/2 bath ranch around 1700 sq. ft. and my bills may vary from yours depending on where you live.

Here's an example of my summary*:

*I can view most of my bills online, but if you can not, ask your utility company for a summary.

Last year from March until February of this year, I paid around $727 for gas services. If I divide that by 12 (months) it averages to $60.58. So, if in the down months I start paying this amount instead of the $25 or $30 due in June and July, I will accumulate credit on my account. This will curb the cost of my gas bill when the $100-$120 bills roll in during the winter. In fact, I typically will pay more than the $61 (maybe $70-$75), that way when December arrives I have enough credit to pay that month completely and my budget for Christmas shopping is not affected.

Now, many companies will offer Budget Billing options and they are often great too, but I like being in control of this myself. That way I have flexibility with how much extra I want to pay each month. This could fluctuate depending on our family budget each month.

The point is, it's easy to take the sting out of those unexpected high bills by preparing well in advance when it's much easier on your budget! So, if you gas heat, I urge you to start now with your electric bill while you are not cooling it's on the down-slide for winter. Don't hesitate, get those bills out and start prepping!!

If you are looking to prepare for the holiday months, like I do, start asap in preparation for 2013 with all your bills paying even $5 extra or more on each if you are able!

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