I opened an envelope last night that almost stopped my heart. We got our natural gas bill for our house in the mail and when I opened it, I saw $123.66 at the top and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. We have used the heat as little as possible this past month, and I know our “base” gas bill is about $19 (with no heat, just the gas water heater running). So $123.66 for the past month… there is no way we’ll be able to afford the real winter bills.
And then I realized next to the amount was CR and a notation that said “No Payment Due”. We actually have $123.66 in credit on our gas bill. Apparently in October our deposit was refunded to us. A deposit I barely remember paying in the first place and had no idea was due to be returned to us in October.
So, whew, but argh at the same time. I can’t believe I once was so disorganized about money. The fact that the gas company could have held onto our $170 (the total amount of the deposit, this month’s actual bill of ~$46 was deducted from it) and I never would have known the difference is rather disturbing to me. Thinking about how much random money has surely slipped through my fingers in the past is a bit disheartening, but I can only resolve to be better moving forward and forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in the past.
The sudden appearance of this money will help the budget though. There’s always a silver lining. My goal is to stretch it out over as many months as possible. It should at least cover next month’s gas bill, and with some mild temperatures, maybe part of January as well. And hopefully free up some money in our budget for a few extra snowflakes. It’s winter, after all ;).
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