How to budget for my Heat and to some degree water?

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  • #85605 Reply
    Brenda

      Good morning here in Michigan. I think I have watch every video on YouTube and either missed or they didn’t tell me how to budget for my Heat and to some degree water, which I have to pay the city for.

      My natural gas can run somewhere around $200 in the middle of the winter but this month (July) it was $12.00. So on my monthly budget what do I put in the budget amount, the winter amount or the summer amount. Then when I do the actual do I save the difference?

      I think my water bill only varies by about 5 dollars but now electricity runs the opposite of natural gas because if it get unbearable, I have to have my AC.

      Thanks, I am trying to get my money resolved.

      PS: Because all my credit cards at so high I do not want to use them and to stop overdrawing my checking account I pay ALL my bills the day I get paid even though they are early. I am going to average my heat and water from last year and that is the number I am going to use. Rest will be cushion.

      #85606 Reply
      Sarah

        I can relate. I usually group utilities together in my budget. which I usually budget 250 for (but I live in a townhouse). Typically, it overestimates it, but I generally keep it in the account for a buffer.

        #85607 Reply
        Naudja

          This might help:

          Look at the last year of winter bills, because they are the highest.

          Take the highest of those bills and make that your base line… i.e. Dec $150, Jan $250, Feb $200.

          $250 is the base for every month, regardless of the actual bill amount.

          During the nicer (lower) months, anything less than the $250 stays in the envelope and by the time you get back around to Winter, there is extra for the higher bills.

          Do the same with the others, including the $5 difference with the water.

          Hope this helps.

          #85608 Reply
          Iris

            You can call utility companies & ask them to put you on a “budget” maybe they call it something else. Where they look at your history and set you up with a payment that is the same every month.

            I did that in the past when I had Gas heating, do it now for my electric bill.

            No more 50.00 months & 300.00 months. Now every month 101.00.

            #85609 Reply
            Joanna

              We live in Michigan as well. We found it easier to just budget the highest amount month to month to make sure we are prepared for winter. With the extra we have in the summer months we put towards debt. If you don’t have debt you could put it towards savings or sinking funds.

              #85610 Reply
              Ashley

                I average my gas and electric and split it, so $100 each. Right now gas is around $34 and electric is just over $100. This winter gas will be much higher, and electric lower. But I always plan for $200 between the two.

                I don’t like the average payment plan because I only want to be charged for what I actually use that month.

                Don’t miss: Who’s cringing their electric bill coming up with all this heat?

                #85611 Reply
                Renee

                  We average our last years heating and cooling bills. Then we pay that amount even though our bills in the summer are lower. We normally end up with a credit going into the winter months. This way we aren’t hit with huge payments in the winter.

                  #85612 Reply
                  Angie

                    I live in AZ so I have high Elec in the summer for AC. I budget 350/month for gas and electric together. I’ve not had a month where both are over 350.

                    I put the full 350 in a bills sinking fund and then pull out what I need for both bills. I’ve had many months where they were not 350 but maybe only 250. I just kept the full amount in that sinking fund anyway. I budget high for my other 3 bills (trash, sewer, and water) all 3 are separate bills.

                    When they are lower than expected (water in the winter since I’m not watering the yard) I put that excess in a bills sinking fund. That fund is over 1000 now. So, if a have a month where gas and elec are over 350 I can just pull from that.

                    #85613 Reply
                    Elizabeth

                      My gas and electricity come under utilities under the same supplier. As one is more in winter and the other in the summer they tend to offset each other and even out. I would budget both together like a sinking fund.

                      Any left over from that month goes back into the fund for the more expensive months.

                      #85614 Reply
                      Megan

                        Hello from another Michigander. For my budgeted amount for heat and electric, I use a monthly average based on last year’s bills. Any leftover I put towards my checking account cushion. Then when they’re higher, I use my cushion to offset the difference.

                        I tried the budget billing with Consumers (electric) and it just felt confusing to me, so I went back to paying monthly.

                        #85615 Reply
                        Theresa

                          I would look at the last 12 months of bills for each utility. I would then take my 6 highest months and get an average of those amounts.

                          I would then open a utility bill pay bank account and drop that amount in there each month. Your summer months you are depositing extra that will cover the difference between the average amount and the highest bill amount.

                          Then at the end of your winter months take the extra amount if any and make a large payment on another bill, car note or house payment.

                          I would also make sure whatever account you set up for this pays higher interst, because if your going to let money sit you might as well earn a little interst.

                          #85616 Reply
                          Elizabeth

                            I use my utilities budget plans. They are set up to review each 6 months, so they are pretty accurate. That way I have a consistent amount to plan on month to month.

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