We’re already halfway through the year, and that means the weather’s warming, school’s out, garage sales are popping up and everyone’s assessing how the year’s going so far.
If you’re giving yourself a budget check-up, you may have noticed your natural gas costs are down as the weather has changed and your usage has decreased. While that could mean more money in the budget for summer fun, vacations, ice cream and water parks right now, it’s important to remember that your gas costs do change with the seasons. That means it’s not too early to be thinking about how fall and winter heating will impact your bill.
Even though your usage is falling this summer, your bill isn’t going to be zero. Your monthly bill includes charges that aren’t based on usage and help cover the cost of system maintenance and safety, as well as metering, billing and infrastructure work.
Does your budget need a tune-up for summer? Here are a few things you can do to try and get back on track:
- Make it routine. Try to set aside time each week to review your recent spending, schedule bill payments, review upcoming expenses and plan for the future.
- Get organized. If you receive paper bills or bank statements, create a filing system that allows you to keep up with them. If you’re paperless and all-digital, make sure you save your information in an easy-to-find place you can access from all your devices.
- Expect the unexpected. Building an emergency fund isn’t always easy to do, but if you need it, you’ll be glad you have it. If you can save money each month, set it aside in an interest-bearing account that will grow. If you’re struggling to save, develop a plan to keep an unexpected expense from causing bigger problems down the line.
Want to make your bill less of a headache? DTE has a number of programs that can take the stress out of managing your monthly bill, from setting up automatic payments to BudgetWise Billing. Find the program that’s right for your needs here.