By Andrea Michelle for AGL
I’m not a shopper. There, I said it.
It’s almost like I’m railing against some kind of cliché version of being a woman (and one who writes a fashion and beauty blog at that), but there’s probably one million trillion other things I’d rather do than spend hours trawling around stores for a retail hit. Like being doubled over laughing with friends till my cheeks hurt from smiling, wrestling with my little boys in bed dispensing treacherous tickles, and if I’m lucky, snoozing. Yeah, snoozing is good.
And part of the reason for that is guilt. ‘Shopper Guilt’ I call it. And it’s a guilt that’s become more potent as I’ve become older and (slightly) more responsible, and has stung even harder since I’ve had kids.
I just hate the thought of laying down hundreds of dollars on a shopping spree, only to be left with a pained expression like a Top Model Contestant after a radical makeover when the household bills come in. Especially those quarterly pains in the butt like electricity, water and gas that seem impossible to really estimate, and always hurt like too many hours spent lying in the sun without a thick layer of 50+.
Of course as grown-ups, we’ve gotta find sensible ways to navigate those bills so that we can not only live within our means, but also hopefully, treat ourselves to a guilt free shopping spree every now and then.
And in an effort to do just that, half way through last year when we moved house I decided to re-jig the family budget so see where we could possibly save some extra cash, or find ways to make managing the budget easier. My main motivation – besides the obvious – was a holiday I’d booked to visit one of my besties in New York City, where I was gunning to do some guilt-free shoe shopping.
After making a few calls, it turned out that I could get my energy supplier (AGL) to change a couple of things on my account to make balancing the budget each month just a little bit easier.
First of all, AGL were able to bill me monthly instead of quarterly for our electricity.
Secondly, they offered to change my bills so they’d always be due on the same day each month that synced best with my budget calculations and pay days.
Making these two little changes suddenly made it clearer how much energy we were using each month (gulp, too much!), how much it was costing us, and how much we needed to reduce it by to get back within budget.
They also had a bunch of tips that I activated like a pack of those fancy almonds from the health store that made a real impact to the size of those monthly bills.
Check out some easy ways to cut down your energy usage here.“
So I got a very welcome sense of control, and the confidence to start working the rest of the family budget like a boss. Which I did. A very bossy boss too I might add. What can I say? The promise of guilt-free shopping in New York is a great motivator.
And as I hit the famous post-Christmas shoe sale at Saks Fifth Avenue with my buddy Marnie – aka The Shopping Enabler – I was able to walk out arms laden with shopping bags, but without that usual burden of guilt. As an added bonus, I was also doubled over laughing with friends at the same time, my cheeks hurting from smiling. Check out more of my New York Travel pics on Instagram at #FoxAndTheCity
To change your energy bill from quarterly to monthly, and to choose a bill payment date that suits you and your family’s budget, click here for the details, or call AGL on 131 245.
What money-saving tips do you have that help enable your guilt-free shopping splurges?