…and with it increased heating bills! Are you prepared? Whether you have oil, gas, or electric heat this week the principles I teach you will show you how to always be ahead of these bills and all your other utilities. Make sure to share this one! It affects everyone! Let’s get to it…
1. Get an 18 Month Average
Look up the billing history of all your utilities for the last 18 months, add them up, and then divide by 18 months. If you haven’t been paying perfectly on time for the past 18 months look only at the “new charges” on the bill not the balance as it will include late fees or past due balance. You want an average of your actual usage. Don’t have 18 months of history? That’s fine. Get as much as you can and update it every 3 months until you hit 18 months. Here’s a list of utilities that vary to get you started.
- Natural Gas
- Heating Oil Purchases
Got the average number for each? Good. Now…
2. Budget It Consistently
Take that number and set it aside every month. When the bill is lower than your average you will retain the difference. For example, your budget is $124 and the bill was $54. Retain the $70 difference. Later, in the months when the bill is higher than the average you’re still going to budget the average only and here’s why that works…
3. Draw From Your Well
Because you’ve retained your financial “water” in the well for the future when the bill is higher than the budget you can draw from the difference to cover it.. Budget is $124, bill is $230, and there is $200 built up from previous months when the bill was below average. Draw $106 from the $200 and supplement the usual $124 budget to pay the higher bill.
This will help you ride through the higher months and come back to the lower months ready to save the difference again.
4. Keep It Current
Now that you’ve got a groove going on mark in your calendar every 3 months to recalculate a new past 18 month average to stay up to date (or a longer average if you desire. I had a 30 month electric average at one point.).
That’s it! You can do this and finally kick the utility rollercoaster to the curb!
P.S. Where there is 4 seasons the best time of the year to start this is the spring or fall when you are in-between the two extremes of heating and cooling.
Question: What is the #1 utility that always seems to catch you by surprise? Share in the comments below and mention how you’re going to use this principle to finally take control of it!