Prepaid Electric Bill, but Charge Varies Month-to-Month


I deposit money into my electric company's billing account on an irregular basis, and they draw on that account monthly to pay my bill which, of course, varies from month-to-month.  I have no idea how to configure YNAB for such an account.  I have used this payment method for many years, and I would rather not change it (not even sure if I can) just to accommodate YNAB.  


Thanks for the help.

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  • Like any category, the money must be Available at the time of the outflow.

    Budget the monthly average at a minimum, but also ensure the Available amount will cover your payment.  (If you're starting in a "high" month, you will need to budget more than the average.)

    At some point, the monthly contribution will reduce to the average. This builds up a surplus in the low months and naturally draws from that surplus in the high months.

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  • OK thanks I will give that a try.

    I still don't quite get YNAB but I will give it a try and maybe it will make sense on the other side.

    Thanks again.

  • My average electric bill is $82.00 per month.  I budget $100.00 each month for this and put any excess in my “Forgot to Budget” category.  If it goes over $100.00, I cover the excess from this category.  This has worked out quite well for me for the past few years.  It also helps to build up my “Forgot to Budget” category and I can then disperse any of this fund to any other category when desired.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      JohnnyDiamond A "cap" on a variable category is an interesting topic. I use a conservative approach where I add up the amounts over the average from the past 12 months. (It's not uncommon for my summer electric bill to be several hundred over the average, so I can't just "wing it" without adequate cushion.) Plus, it's pretty easy to compute. (I recompute at tax time an use that value for the next 12 months.)

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      • Brew Guru
      • Purple_Yearling.5
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      JohnnyDiamond Thanks, I like that idea.

    • Brew Guru You’re welcome.

  • dakinemaui  I guess it’s one of those “to each his/her own” aspects of life.  You might say that is my “cushion” to prevent havoc with my budget.   Obviously, there are other variable categories and I do the same with them.  It’s my not wanting to have to WAM to cover some category I knew should have been covered in the first place.  It probably comes from my aversion to debt.  If I’m under in a category payment, that’s debt, which has to be paid from another category from which I may not have the funds to do so.  Thus, the "Forgot To Budget” category.  For the 52 years of my marriage I have always added more, usually 10%, to any future bills needed for the upcoming year.  Any left overs from those increases goes into savings.  This has kept me out of debt and it helps me sleep at night.

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  • 8 mths agoLast active
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