Homeownership Managing Your Budget

Time to Refuel Your Home for Winter – Lessening the Financial Shock

Time to refuel your oil or propane tanks! September is just about over, and we are getting ready to close down outside activities and move inside for the winter. Well, here in New England anyways unless you are a skier or enjoy cold weather outside.

OMG! Not on My Budget…

Well I called and had my oil tank checked and refueled for the first time after Summer last week, and nearly did backward flip when I opened the bill left in my door.- $402 for 136 gallons. Plugging the number into my budget I knew I would never get the numbers to work.

Need A Payment Plan…

I remembered seeing on my fuel dealers website they had easy payment plans, and I needed one now – so I called. The girl took my name and information. The lady told me that she would have the other girl get back to me.

A Few Days Later

As I was checking my mail, I saw an envelope from the oil dealer and opened it. It contained a contract for my signature, and easy payment stubs to be made by the fifteenth of the month through next June. She had calculated my last years payments and came up with a new payment of just $150 a month.

After the last payment in June they review the account to see if my actual consumption and bills stayed within the budget and either credit or debit for the difference. Being Summer, will be easy to catch up if needed then – I am hoping to stay inside that budget or lower.

It Pays to Ask…

As I plugged the $150 into next months budget I smiled again, and took a deep breath – never accept more than you can afford in a single sitting, there is always another way to make life a bit easier. It pays to ask, “Do you have an easy payment plan? Senior discount?” So now, I am ready to go back and continue putting together my budget for next month.

I thought I would share this with you, in case you just got hit with a HUGE first bill for the season, and show you how a simple conversation helped me with my October budget. You should never be without heat!

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