by Gemma Jones
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Utilities including water, electricity, gas, and telephone are the major items in a person’s budget. You should be very careful and diligent in making sure that these utilities aren't forgotten in the monthly budget.
Doing so is very costly. Services on these utilities are discontinued and this would require penalties to have the connections to these utilities re-installed. The question is, how much of your budget should be allotted to utility bills?
Here are some helpful ideas:
* Know your income by heart. This serves as a guide for you to see your “budget behavior” when it comes to allotting money for your needs. This is the starting point of your budget.
* Work out a budget. This can be done weekly or monthly, depending on how often you get your pay. Some people receive their pay bimonthly, and some once a month.
This serves as guide to see how much you spend against how much you are actually earning. Make sure that you record all income and expenses in a notebook, or in a spreadsheet, regardless of how small.
You can also download budget planners on the Internet. There are even graphs to help you visualize where the majority of your income goes.
Your budget keeps track of how often you buy the groceries, the average amount that you pay for your gas, and the spur of the moment purchases that you make.
Ideally, majority (about sixty to seventy percent) of your income goes to utilities. Electricity is the most expensive, followed by gas, telephone, and water. The rest goes to savings, taxes, and emergency expenses.
Write the amounts immediately on your check. However, if you don't have a checkbook, you should set aside the money in a safe place to avoid spending the amounts on unnecessary items.
You should only get this when you are about to pay the bills. It is recommended that you place the money under lock and key.
Review the trend of your budget. In four to six months time, you will be able to review your budget and allot the necessary percentage of your income to your utilities.
Note that life changes as having a combined income, salary increases, and having a new job, are factors in increasing the percentage allocation of your utilities.
The "three R's" Review,Retrenchment & resignations are factors in decreasing the allocation of utilities.
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