Paying utilities

I have gotten into the habbit of paying extra on my utility bill during the winter months so that I do not have big ones during the summer. I would like to know what the best way to keep track of this
as I would like to know how much I realy owe.
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You'll need to create a "cash type" Asset account ... call it (for example), "PrePaid Bills".
Then, when your $45 utility bill comes in, you record a check to the Utility for $50 and SPLIT the category. Under the category Utility you record $45. Under the category "Prepaid Bills" you record $5, for a total of $50.
THEN, when the summer rolls around, you start paying from the "Prepaid" account.
db
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Maybe I should have added the fact that I have setup my online banking to send a fixed amount every month and during the summer I just do single payment to keep the account current. Also, I do not want to switch where I pay them from. I would like to to have it setup like a bank account.
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You would CONTINUE to make the fixed payment from your bank account ... what I was discussing was what CATEGORIES you use for that payment.
Go back and re-read.
db
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You could create a cash account called "Utility" or "Electric Company". Then when the bill arrives you enter a payment in that account for the amount on the bill. Then when you pay them, you either manualy enter a deposit into that account for the amount you paid, or specify that account in the category field of the check. The balance on that account will be the amount you have overpaid (or owe) the utility.
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I use a Credit Card (name is the utility) for ease of reconciliation. When you receive the bill, record the actual bill amount into the Credit Card account. When you pay your balance payment, it is a transfer between your Checking and Credit Card. It would look like this:
06/25/2008 Receive Bill $200.00 Offset to Category Gas & Electric 07/15/2008 Balance Payment Plan $175.00 Offset to Checking
Balance on 7/15 is $25.00 owed to the Utility Company. This will jump between owing the Utility Company and them owning you during the year as seasons change and the Balance Payment adjusts. In my case, Winter is more expensive then summer.
Oilcan
-----Original Message----- From: snipped-for-privacy@usa.net [mailto: snipped-for-privacy@usa.net] Posted At: Friday, June 13, 2008 9:23 AM Posted To: alt.comp.software.financial.quicken Conversation: Paying utilities Subject: Paying utilities
I have gotten into the habbit of paying extra on my utility bill during the winter months so that I do not have big ones during the summer. I would like to know what the best way to keep track of this as I would like to know how much I realy owe.
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On 6/13/2008 11:23 AM, snipped-for-privacy@usa.net wrote:

Dan Brown and others gave you good advice about how to keep track of your balances the way you're making your payments, but many (most?) utility companies offer an equal payment plan intended to do exactly what you are doing - smooth out the payments from month to month across the year. Why not use your utility companies' plans. They'll do the bookkeeping for you, estimate how much your averaged payment should be, and adjusting when necessary.
Bernie
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wrote:

If utility prices are stable then that works well. With the price of fuel skyrocketing paying extra is a good idea. Many utility companies only review their budget plan once a year. Last year we were paying $70 a month for our gas bill. We got hit with a $250 true up at the end of the season. This year they said our budget plan is only $60. Given the higher prices in gas I am paying $60-75 a month to avoid the true up next winter. In other words, I don't trust their budget plan calculation. I'm not worried about tracking it in Quicken. I can see my balance on my monthly statement.
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wrote:

This is partly to see how fast the Verizon server updates posts through another nntp server (Motzarella).
I just pay the utility what they are billing. I philosophically dislike the notion of giving utilities interest-free loans. Now I understand the strategy of paying a fixed amount each month to average out your usage over the year. However, I would suggest keeping the money in an interest-bearing account, for instance a savings account. It might even count towards your total balance qualifying you for whatever it does. Seems to me you could each month transfer the difference between the utility bill and your estimated average usage to and from the savings account. You should use a "class" or "tag" suffix of util avg. This way you can generate a report telling you what you have in the savings account that is reserved for utility bills.
--
Best regards
Han
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<snip Laura's>

Well, it carries over from motzarella to verizon in the bllink of an eye!
--
Best regards
Han
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snipped-for-privacy@usa.net wrote:

Using Quicken, the EASIEST way to do this is to ignore the rules of bookkeeping, which suggest creating an asset account named "prepaid utility expenses".
Instead, as someone here suggested, create a credit card named after the utility, such as "Ohio Electric Co."
Post each month's utility bill to the credit card account as if you had just made a purchase at the utility store on a utility charge account. You will use the offsetting category of "electric expense", or "water& sewage", or whatever.
Then pay the utility company whatever you wish, whenever you wish, using the offset account of the named "credit card". The "credit card" account will track how much advance payment you have "in the bank", so to speak, and the utility category will track what utility expense you are actually incurring, and on what date.
Doug
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wrote:

Since I dislike the idea of giving banks or utilities interest free money, I would stick with the original idea of the OP: Prepaying what eventually will come due. In my opinion the best way is:
Pay the utility what they bill. Simultaneously send extra money to a savings account. You can mark the transfer with a class or tag "utility" if you wish, so you can track how much you have set aside. Or maybe "savings goals" is what this was designed for. I have not bothered to read up on it.
--
Best regards
Han
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