I have always enjoyed receiving my government sales tax rebate in January. Almost every year I have used that quarterly bonus to give to other people who are suffering from post Christmas financial let down, or to charities that require as much cash flow after Christmas as they do during the Christmas season.
Unfortunately I am likely going to have to retain my 2017 January rebate for my own purpose: paying the electric bill! We are not eligible for equalization payments where the costs are spread evenly over the 12 month period. For 2 out of every 3 months our bill is an estimate. So once every 3 months, when there is an actual reading of how much power we have used, we get a bill that is usually a shock. It can be the wonderful shock of a very low bill, or even of a credit amount, or it can be the shock of a giant amount of money owing for past power used. I remember the stunned feeling I had last January when I received an actual bill and paid over 3 times the amount we had paid in each of the 2 months previously.
I suspect I will get a worse shock this coming January. Last winter was so mild we had our car plugged into the outside power outlet a total of 6 days...in the entire winter....6 days. This year it has all ready been plugged in for 5 days and as I scan the longer term weather forecast there is no let up in sight for cold temperatures over the next several weeks. That whopper of a January bill will set the tone for the subsequent 2 estimated months, so they will be high as well.
Blah! Blecch! Pooey!
I can see why charities are hurting these days as the Canadian economy takes a bad hit. There are times when people cannot keep up their level of giving. It is reality and a sad one.
I kind of chuckle at my husband's annual "cost of living" increase that arrives each January on his month end wage cheque. Oh how wonderful it would be if the cost of living really did only go up by the $12-$35 a month he receives over the year before. Not that I am complaining...any higher dollar amount is good.
There has been a sharp drop over the past 5 months in our disposable income. The cost of utilities and groceries is going up far faster than we can keep up with. I cannot imagine how people who earn even less than my husband does can keep going. I know I am feeling badly about the rise in winter utility costs for ourselves, but truly we are in a blessed state in comparison to so many other people barely getting by at the best of times.
So, while I grumble and gripe over the winter power bills I am also very grateful that we have the wherewithal to pay them each month!! They still tend to be less than the winter power bills we paid in Alberta 15 years ago!
I am just hoping that somehow I will still be able to utilize my next tax rebate for some higher purpose than paying off my own power bills.