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Day 168: That other important thing that costs money a.k.a bills

So, I've been focusing so much on spending less on groceries, buying less makeup, cooking with ingredients that I had forgotten about the other thing that sucks up my money.

Bills, bills, bills!



Dammit. I forgot about this whole thing. What's the point of cutting down on grocery and makeup purchasing when you have UNEXPECTEDLY HIGH BILLS ALL OF A SUDDEN?

Unexpectedly high bill #1: Cable/internet/phone bill



Remember how I got TV because, due to a 3-month promotion, it was cheaper to have TV than not to have TV? (I'll wait while you go and read so you can understand how that works). So anyway, just like the TV company wanted, I fell in love with having TV and decided to pay for it. So, to get all of the channels I wanted (which includes HBO because I need to watch Game of Thrones live, obviously) I had to add on all of these packages. And so when I got the bill it was... kind of high.

But the plan is that once Game of Thrones is over for the season (i.e. Sunday) and The Killing and United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie have their finales (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) then I will cancel the more expensive bits of TV (HBO, AMC and Showtime).

Then, it's necessary to keep cable through the month of July for TOUR DE FRANCE (this is non-negotiable) and then I may cancel TV altogether.

We shall see.

Unexpectedly High Bill #2: Electricity



For mysterious reasons, my electricity was about $80 more than usual. I have no idea what this is about. I phoned the city, and the very nice woman on the phone explained that they base most of the bills on an average electricity use, and then when they measure the actual meter (a few times a year) they will bill me for the difference.

But she said that electricity is $20 just to have, plus about $15 for a fridge, and then maybe $4 for using a TV. So... why was my bill $120? The only other things I plug in lately are my oscillating fan and sometimes my iPod speakers.

So, she suggested that I should go down and check the electric meter myself every month for the next little bit to get an idea of how much my consumption actually is. Hopefully if it keeps being a normal $40ish, then they will credit me back some of the $120? Because unless I have a deep freeze and run an air conditioner and washing machine every day for 12 hours, that should not be how much I'm paying.

So now I get to be a detective and investigate The Case of the High Electric Bill.

Bleh. Stupid bills. Money just feels so wasted when it goes towards something that I didn't pick out myself. And it's scary to be charged money for things that I haven't actually done - i.e., using $120 worth of electricity.

Whatever. I'm going to go bake something delicious and then paint my nails something fun. You see, it's not so bad!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your electric bill seems to be high to me too...usually my water and electric combined are under $100.00 per month...(is your heat electric--I know that would make a difference (in a bad way))...did the woman you spoke to suggest you call in a reading?...I do that with my water meter (once in a while) and when I first moved here whenever I did it, I got a refund on my bill as the bill was based on average use for 3 yrs..and since it is only me not a family...I use less water...
good luck...
JEM

Lindy Mint said...

Erg. HBO is wonderful, and terrible for it's ability to get people addicted to their series and forcing them to PAY for it. We have been HBO free for about 3 months. I shed tiny tears whenever someone on Twitter is talking about True Blood or Game of Thrones.

But I keep telling myself that once the series' are over I can get them through Netflix for next to nothing. So, there's that.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing happen with my city bill. When I phoned to complain, the woman says "Well, we try to get out to check the meters once every 3 months" so I countered that my meter had not been read in 8 months! She said "Well, it was an icy winter and the meter readers found it hard to get out". Oh, boo hoo, poor meter readers! My question is, "do they get paid whether they go out or not?". Not sure how that works...
Cyndi

Annabelle said...

JEM and Cyndi, I am most def. going to go investigate my electric meter (once my building manager is back in town and I learn where it is). I think it's bizarre that everybody in the city is paying an estimate, and every few months we have to catch up. Surely there's an easier way?

Lindy - I will miss HBO lots once it's gone! But I think I will get used to watching things a day late. I'm spoiled now, watching things live. Not worth the cost, though. Wah.

Brian said...

Although you mention that it's usually fairly consistent, something you may want to consider (re: electric bill) is being aware of things plugged in and not being used.

Quite a few appliances draw more "standby power" than you'd expect and unplugging can result in savings.

Annabelle said...

Excellent point, Brian. Somewhere in the back of my brain I knew that, and so I always unplug my computer and my TV... but not my DVR, cable box, or modem. Or stove. Are you allowed to unplug your stove? It really doesn't need to be turned on all the time.

This bears some investigating. Thanks!

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