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Popping in with a question! I usually lurk but I'm getting more serious about finances and budgeting.
Our power company has an option where they estimate the amount of power used in previous year(s) and average it out over the year so your payments are basically the same and easier to budget. Does anyone recommend a program like this?
If not, how do you budget in power when it can fluctuate by $100 depending on the time of year?
There's no real benefit to it IMO other than you know for sure what it'll be but you also risk then having to pay a "balloon payment" at the end of the year if what they figured wasn't correct.
For example, if your electric was a total of $2400 for 2009, then in 2010 they average your payment to be $200 a month. Well that's great, until December rolls around and they find that your 2010 yearly total was $3,000 instead of $2,400 like the previous year (let's face it there's always price increases), you then have that balloon payment (or the difference) of $600 to cough up all at once. So personally it isn't something I've ever wanted to do.
I've lived in my house for 5 years now. I know that in the winter time my electric runs around $100 so I budget $150 just to cover my ***** in case we go over a bit and I know it runs around $320 in the summer so I budget at $370 just in case we go over. If we stay at normal or go under hey great that's extra money I can put into our savings account instead or roll over into the next month.
So, personally that's how I figure it and it's worked well for us for the past couple of years now.