Every three months most people dread the electricity bill showing up in the mail or via email.
It can be a shock to the system if you haven’t budgeted for it and given you often only have a couple weeks to pay up in full it can cause a lot of stress both financial and emotional.
The best way to avoid bill shock is to make sure to pay off a bit of your expected bill each time you get paid. By doing this you may even find that you can get yourself into credit by the end of the quarter with the aim to be a whole bill cycle in front by the end of the year so you can breathe easy at Christmas time.
For us that means paying $300 to $350 each month into the billing account so that we get either a very small bill or a credit on the electricity account each quarter as our average usage is around $900-$1000 per quarter. We are a family of 6, with a pool, and no gas so we’re fully electric. We rarely use the aircon, and only use fans when the heat gets too much.
Now let me take you back 7 years ago when I received the biggest electricity bill ever! How big? Well big enough for me to confidently post to Facebook that I would pay anyone $100 that had received a payment notice higher. (Please note this bet is now closed upon publication of this post!)
In January 2010 I was a supremely sleep deprived mother of three kids (the youngest born in December of 2009). Money was tight and I struggled to manage our single income that hubby got paid monthly, so now imagine the heart stopping moment I received an overdue electricity bill for an eye watering amount of money.
$185,397.07 OVERDUE 🙁
I was in tears! I was panicking! HOW ON EARTH COULD THIS HAPPEN????
We had been in the house for less than a year and I had this dreadful thought that the people before us had racked up this bill and maybe our bills to date were only guesstimates and not actually being read.
After some pretty stressful phone calls and getting passed from person to person trying to sort out what the heck was going on the company agreed to send out someone to reread the meter.
I was so worried they would turn off our power if this didn’t get sorted and quick! Within a couple of weeks they had sent someone out and accepted the bill was a mistake.
I never did receive an apology 🙁
I remember my mother saying that if an elderly person had opened that overdue notice they could have had a heart attack – my heart certainly felt like it stopped when I saw it!
After I posted the question about people’s biggest bill on Facebook I expected to have a couple reaponses around the $500 mark but most around the $750 mark. I am truly shocked at the prices some people are getting billed! So many of them were pushing $1000+ per quarter!
With the recent rate rises there’s going to be even more pressure on families and individuals to take a good look at their provider and their charges.
How much do you pay per quarter? Have you ever received a monster bill? And how do you make sure your bill gets paid on time without causing financial stress?