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It's nice to run across some "found money"
I deal with my finances on autopilot as much as possible. I have a tendency to spend what's available, so the best way for me to make sure everything is going to work is to have lots of things directly paid out of my bank on payday so the money is gone before I have a chance to spend it.

This has worked out well, but I'm finding things a bit tight right now. Yes, all the necessities are taken care of -- the property taxes are being paid, the car loan is being paid, the phone's all right, etc, but what remains for me to spend each week isn't lasting as long as it did. I'm uncomfortably dipping into savings when I shouldn't be. It's not a lot, but it's not good (I'm saving for a reason, on a deadline, so it's dangerous for me to do so).

I looked at my electric bill the other day -- something I don't do regularly, since I'm on budget billing and automatically pay every week anyway. It seems last September, without my knowing it, the budget billing amount fell by about $72/month. My current "account balance" is in the range of -$600 or so. At $128/mo billing, I could just not pay my electric bill for almost 5 months and I'd be fine.

That's a lot of money to just find, and it'll make things smoother for me.

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It really helps to spread the way-higher costs of winter heating out across the year, but you're right, if anything changes dramatically, it can come as a surprise.

Of course, this past winter was relatively mild, which probably accounts for the drop, and this summer I'm running the window air conditioners way more than I do most summers.

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