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Posts tagged with: utility bills

When you Find an Extra Money

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I remember a time very clearly when I was cleaning out an old binder and stumbled upon a hidden stash of money. Or those times when you are cleaning out the pockets of your laundry and find a wadded up $20. Finding extra money is always a blessing.

Many times, I can quickly recall when I put that money there. But every time, I do a little jump for joy at finding some “extra.”

Bookkeeping Error

bookkeeping

As you know, money has been very tight around here. I am pinching pennies left and right. Borrowing from peter to pay paul. And sometimes taking things a bit too far.

What I haven’t told you is that our water was cut off last month. Now don’t jump down my throat, read the details first.

First, it was off for less than 5 hours. But it shouldn’t have happened.

I schedule all my payments through my bank account. I have learned the hard way, now to schedule a payment until I have the money in the bank. (Clients do not always pay when they say they will, so I no longer count the money until I have it in hand. Although I use forecasting to know what I expect to come in and when.)

This particular bill is due on the 10th of each month. I was not able to schedule the payment until the 21st (and then it takes a week to arrive.) So the check was literally in the mail.

On the 25th, we woke up to no water. I was 15 days late, and had not ever been late before. They had cut my water off!

I was able to call them and make a payment over the phone and they turned the water back on within a couple of hours. But wow, that taught me a lesson about being late with the utilities here!

Fast Forward to This Month

The payment for the water bill is still due by the 10th of every month. I scheduled it to arrive on the 6th.

Since then, I have been watching to make sure the check was cashed, and I was not at risk for having my water turned off again. And I waited and I waited.

Today, I started to get nervous as we approach the 10 day past due period. Before I called the utility company to confirm they received it, I decided to check the bank one more time.

And there is was, cashed on the 6th. I don’t know how I missed it!

But I am not at risk for getting our water cut off again, and I have an extra $108 to spend. (I track my day to day availability on an Excel spreadsheet which I also use to forecast. This lets me know what’s coming up and how what I do today will affect the future months out.)

It’s not quite the same as finding a stash of cash in a binder or hidden in the pockets of your jeans, but I’ll take it. Every little bit counts!

The old Hope would have blown this money. The new Hope is laser focused on what bill I can pay or debt payment I can make with it!

Have you every had a tiny and unexpected windfall? How did it make you feel? And what did you do with it?


Utility Bill Update

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We budget $300 per month for the summer electric/gas bill.  Only the water heater is gas.  This bill also includes our city services.  Our house has a lot of windows and we did spend $50 on the adhesive window tint for the master bedroom and are seeing a difference.   We want to do that for the upstairs loft too since that gets a lot of afternoon sun. We haven’t hit $300 yet bit did decide to pay $300 last month to make this month a little easier.

We saw about a $30 savings for the week we were gone. We were hoping for more saved since we have also saw the benefit of a rainy July and temps that didn’t hit triple digits (unlike our Midwest friends) but 30 bucks is 30 bucks. In addition to the insane heat last year we also weren’t doing much to cut the costs so I think we are seeing benefits of both the temps and our efforts.

Here’s how the breakdown has gone:

Bill ending June 1:  $217.47

Bill ending June 28: $258.00

Bill ending July 30:  $231.54

Since we had a credit from overpaying the June 29 bill our current amount due is $189.54.  I don’t know what you will think about the overpaying with the budgeted amount of $300, but I am really liking being ahead in these hot summer months.  It is MUCH better than the shock of opening a bill that is crazy high.  We haven’t discussed yet what we will do this month but it looks like our Texas summers are back with the temp hitting 104 today.

There’s the utility update…up next will be the debt update!


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