the gas bill that wasnt

November 13th, 2007

The Gas Bill That Wasn’t

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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6 Responses to “The Gas Bill That Wasn’t”

  1. Whew–that would be awfully high for heating! Congrats on your unexpected credit. :)

  2. Do you and Mrs. Micah live in a moderate temperature zone? You’re lucky to have gas heat. We have oil. It’s very expensive.

    New found money. It’s a beautiful thing!

  3. I live in the midwest. It’s not as bitterly cold as my native new england, but it isn’t the south either. We have some pretty cold times.

    I think that the type of heat is a regional thing. A lot of people I grew up with in New England have oil heat. But when my spouse and I lived in Michigan, a not at all temperate climate, we still had gas heat. We just used a lot of it.

    I am happy to have gas heat. My parents have electric heat. $1000 monthly heating bills are not unheard of in mid winter for them.

  4. $123 is quite a bit of money to have pop into your life. Your comments show how far you’ve come in dealing with your finances. I’m sure that I would have done the exact same thing a few years ago!

  5. I hate to think of the mistakes I’ve made in the past, money that has just gone who knows where. But as you said, dwelling on the past is pointless.


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