I've had a bit of a shock today, the quarterly gas bill arrived. When my central heating didn't work it was so easy, I just managed without it. No questions, no worrying about whether I could afford to switch it on. No central heating, end of story. I didn't mind receiving a gas bill, because I knew I wasn't going to get any nasty surprises. Every time I opened one I smiled, that will do nicely, I thought.
But now that the government has very kindly fixed my heating for me, my bill has shot up to £96.89 from the £52.90 it was for the same period last year. They said, get a new energy efficient boiler and watch your bills go down. Well mine flippin well hasn't, it's gone up! I knew it would be too easy to flick the switch when I felt the slightest bit chilly. I knew I would become a whimp and give in. Well this has got to stop. I can't be doing with the uncertainty of these fluctuating bills, I want to get back to the old method of not using it and not paying for it.
I know you can pay by direct debit and spread the cost, but from what I have heard the gas and electricity people always set the monthly payments quite high so that you are always paying more than you need to. Eventually you end up with quite a sizeable amount in your credit pot. I am not going to get into that situation, lending British Gas my money so they can invest it and make a profit. Better that it's in my purse, and I will pay for what I have used.
That's another thing, I try and keep my direct debits to a minimum, I don't like the idea of people helping themselves from my bank account. Whenever possible I pay my bills as and when they arrive, that way it feels like I am paying with real money. It helps me to keep track of things, my bank statements are usually only one page because there is very little activity, makes it easier to spot anything untoward.
With a bit of luck, with all this global warming going on we won't be needing central heating, then everybody will be in the same boat, hot and sweaty :-)