The Budget Plan

@dorannmwin (36698)
United States
May 25, 2010 1:04pm CST
Does anyone use the budget plan for their monthly utility bills so that they know how much they are going to be paying for a specific bill throughout the duration of the year? We use it for our gas bill because if we didn't then the gas would be very high throughout the winter and very low throughout the summer. It seems to make a lot more sense to me to pay an amount that is in the middle throughout the year than to have 300 dollar plus bills in the winter time and bills that are less and 50 dollars during the summer. We, however, don't use it for our water or for our electricity because though there are some fluctuations in those bills for us, the swing isn't nearly as wild as it is for the gas bill in our area. Please tell me if you do or have ever used these kinds of plans and what you think about them.
13 responses
@debsgw (256)
26 May 10
I use it for everything because I prefer to know how much I need to budget each month than have a bill come in each quarter - it just makes me feel more secure and if the credit piles up too much in any of the utility payments we can reduce the monthly payments to accommodate that and give ourselves a little treat with the extra saved -:)
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
The only reason that I haven't used it for our electric bill is that it doesn't have a high degree of fluctuation.
@debsgw (256)
27 May 10
I haven't worked out if our electric bill here will have much fluctuation - we only just moved to this area so just carried on doing it the way I prefer lol :)
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
1 Jun 10
As far as the electric bill goes, it will probably depend on how hot it gets where you live during the summer. The reason for this (at least in our situation) is that the heater runs on gas while the air conditioner is dependent on electricity only.
@jesssp (2742)
• Canada
26 May 10
We use it for our gas and power because it just seems to make sense to me. In our old house our gas bill went down every year we lived there and because our equalized payment was more than we used we always had a credit through the summer months. And it's nice to have a couple hundred bucks free during camping season! We use it for our power bill too because it can be quite a bit higher in the winter from having to plug the vehicles in. I think maybe billing is only every two months with regular payments through both companies which is another reason I prefer the budget billing - I like paying monthly. A lot of people I talk to don't agree with equalized payments though and I can't for the life of me see why. Just a different way of thinking I guess.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
I think that they are great because you honestly know what you are going to be spending ahead of time. It is great to be able to look at your monthly budget and know what your bills are going to be for the month. I think with flucuating payments it is much more difficult to keep a budget.
@jesssp (2742)
• Canada
26 May 10
I agree. I think people are under the misconception that you pay more with equalized payment/budget billing plans. In reality it isn't so (with the companies we deal with, anyways). They could do one meter reading a year and you would still only be paying for what you actually use in the end.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
27 May 10
You are absolutely right. If we were in fact paying more for this type of service, then I wouldn't have had a credit this month on my bill. But, I did.
@bunnybon7 (37399)
• Holiday, Florida
25 May 10
here in AZ the electric is usually the highest bill during the summer because of the air conditioning. we tried it for a while but found we could save more by just paying the regular bill. as it seems since his gf left, its cheaper. we enjoy warmth and get cold easily so dont use as much air as othersactually our gas got higher this year because the winter was longer and colder. in fact its still unusually cool here
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
Maybe this should be the year that I go out there to visit. I've been to AZ twice in my life and both times it has been in the middle of the summer where it is very, very hot.
@bunnybon7 (37399)
• Holiday, Florida
26 May 10
yes, come see me this winter!! great idea. are you married? maybe son would fall for you and we'd get along famously wouldnt that be wonderful? where do you usually go out here? phoenix area? we live in a suberb of phoenix
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
27 May 10
Unfortunately for you and your son I am already married (happily for the most part). As far as where we go, yes, it is Phoenix, I can't remember the exact area that my aunt lives in but it is Phoenix and to be completely honest, we love it out there.
@LotRowena (159)
• Philippines
27 May 10
Hi there, good morning. I am Rowena from the Philippines and I am an Accountant. Even at home, I practice my profession for budgeting. Any mother like me should really know how to do budget so they would know how to control their expenses for food, gas, transportation, education, everything. I actually maintains a spreadsheet on excel wherein I do updating everyday. Then I will sort it per item so I would see the trend of prices. My children is also looking at this spreadsheet so they would know how they are going to do their share by just saving or not spending something which is unnecessary.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
27 May 10
I used to be awful at budgeting, but in the past year this has changed for our family. I think that it is important to keep an eye on where we are spending money because it shows us, like you've said, where we can change our habits to save more money.
@savypat (20246)
• United States
26 May 10
I tried this one year and it was not for me. At the end the bills were a lot more and we had to make up the difference. If I see each month's expense I can do at least a little to cut back the next month. In other words I stay in control
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
That is great that it works out that way for you. During the winter we did have one very high electric bill because we were using a portable space heater and when we got that bill I decided to use that thing far less than we'd been doing.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
26 May 10
Here in California, it would probably make more sense to use with the water and electric bills. Both are higher in summer. But nope, I've never done that, just taken things as they come!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
Yes, if I lived somewhere where the heat of the summer was extreme it would be the electric that would be budgeted instead of the gas during the wintertime.
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
26 May 10
I have used the budget plan on some of our utilites and I didn't mind it too much. It did certainly help with the gas bill in the winter time. I believe that we have to do as much as we can to help with controlling the costs of the bills.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
I don't think that it is really a method of controlling the cost of our bills but rather the budget plan is a tool such that we don't get slapped with a huge bill during the winter months of the year when we tend to use more.
@qamarep (4449)
• Pakistan
26 May 10
yes it is very much important for us nowadays cause the things have gone very expensive since the 2008
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
Expenses are constantly increasing and it is nice to know that there is something that we can always count on when it comes to our monthly bills.
• Philippines
26 May 10
Although it's a good practice to monitor every spending activity, I usually don't use a budget plan specially that I have fix expenses every month which I can already anticipate earlier of every payday. But I would strongly suggest it to those who have much more complicated enpenditure activities.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
In the past year our family has been working with a strict budget and I really like the fact that we are able to come out ahead where we used to fall short.
@monkeylong (3146)
• Guangzhou, China
26 May 10
As far as I am concerned, I seldom use this kind of budget in my daily life,just for now, I am living alone, with no one to care about. Then I just can try my best to work at my job, then try my best to earn a living. If the money I have earned is OK for my life, I think I can just set the budget aside. But when sometimes that I am short of money, I will just take a budget out to caculate how to spend the money in my hand.Have a nice day.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
I used to be very much like you are, I really didn't think at all about a budget, but since I am older now and have far more responsibilities, it is important for me to be able to budget.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
25 May 10
hi dorannmwin yes we had a budget plan for our utilities and as I was in my eighties they gave us the senior plan on our electric bill but still it was the highestof the bills. the gas bill was also on senior plan so it was always very reasonable. the apartment complex owner paid for the water. but when my son lost his job the manager was only to happy to be right there with an eviction notice in his well manicured hand. Well that is p ast and the only way now we are bottomed out is to go up so this year I bet my son will get that good job.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
I hope that your son is able to get a good job so that you and he will be able to get back on your feet. You are completely correct that the only place that you can go from the bottom is up.
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
25 May 10
We've never been on the budget plan. In our last house the power bill would get up to over $1,000 in the winter, and we didn't want to have to pay parts of that in the summer (and of course we kept promising to insulate better next winter which we never did). We've only lived here a year, and didn't know what the bill was like before we moved in, so we didn't want to sign up yet... we would this fall if we still live here, but chances are we'll be moving again soon.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
We actually only signed up for it in this house initially because we had an extraordinarily high bill in the winter before we went on the budget and I couldn't afford to pay it all at one time. However, since we've been living here, the bill has gone down with the budget every year when they make their adjustment.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
25 May 10
we use it for our gas bill as well because it is different during the winter as opposed to the summer just like you. we are in canada and we have really big differences in temperatures.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
26 May 10
Well, we aren't in Canada, but we do have really big swings in our temperatures here as well. It can go from 0 during the winter to as high as 100 during the summer.