Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tips For Budgeting For Changing Gas And Heating Oil Prices

Tips for Budgeting for Changing Gas and Heating Oil Prices

Whether you're driving to work, picking up your kids from soccer practice or simply staying warm in the winter,
your household needs heating oil and gasoline in order to keep running throughout the year.
Fuel is a necessary expense, so it's important to plan ahead and include it in your monthly budget. However,
many people find it difficult to estimate spending amidst fluctuating oil prices and usage.
In order to accurately predict spending in your budget, you need to know how much you'll have to pay for oil.
Even though oil prices change frequently, you can still incorporate fuel costs into your budget and even end up
saving money. Here are three tips you can use to budget for gas and heating oil.
    1. 1. Know What Causes Price Shifts

Many factors cause fluctuations in oil prices. When you understand how these factors influence what you pay at
the pump, you can budget better and take steps to save money when possible.
Oil is a commodity, which means that oil prices vary depending on supply and demand. When supply is high
and demand is low, consumers pay less. Conversely, when supply is low and demand high, consumers end up
paying more. In other words, the more people want oil and the less of it there is, the more you'll end up
shelling out.
Some factors that influence oil price, like politics and natural disasters, are mostly out of your control. However,
you can plan for more predictable price shifts. For example, if you're buying heating oil in the winter, you'll need
to budget more money, since prices typically rise as more people need oil to keep their homes warm.
Consider what factors you can plan for and incorporate your new knowledge into your budget estimates.

    1. 2. Calculate Your Gas Usage

Aside from estimating the price of oil, when making your monthly budget, you'll also need to estimate how much
oil you and your family use. If you haven't been tracking your usage already, now's a good time to start.
To calculate how much gasoline you use in a month, you need to know your vehicle's gas mileage and about
how far you drive. From there, you can figure out about how many gallons of gas you'll need each month. When
considering how much you drive, remember to factor in not only your commute to work or school but also trips
to the grocery store, movie theater, doctor's office and any other places you'll likely need to visit.
When you see how much you spend driving back and forth every day, you might feel inspired to plan travel
routes more efficiently, which can help you save a significant amount of money.
    1. 3. Consider a Budget Payment Plan for Heating Oil

Most people don't need to use heating oil in their houses the whole year through. Instead, most homes only
require heating oil in the fall and winter when temperatures drop. In the summer, you likely won't need to buy
heating oil. Unfortunately, however, this means that winter energy bills often come as a nasty surprise.
If you're comfortable paying hefty prices for heating oil in the winter months, you can certainly do so. But if you
want to plan for the cost of heating oil, you may need to consider an alternate payment plan.
Many oil providers offer budget payment plans to help consumers manage costs. Under these plans, customers
pay a set rate every month to cover their heating oil costs in the winter. These payment plans allow you to
budget for your heating oil like any other bill, which saves you from having to pay an excessive amount all at
Budget payment plans aren't for everyone. However, if you're hoping for more stability in your budget, enrolling
in one could help.
    1. Take Control of Your Budget

Fluctuating oil prices don't have to spell disaster for your budget. By monitoring your usage and searching for
payment plans that meet your needs, you can budget for gas and heating oil and even save a little money.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Away!


Related Posts with Thumbnails