Paying utility bills is not something people dream of doing when they become adults, but it's one of those life skills that we all need to know. Utility bills include phone, cable, gas, water, electric and Internet. These bills are usually paid on a monthly basis, and some of them can fluctuate from month to month depending on your usage of the utility. Some utilities, like the gas and electric, offer a budget payment plan, where they will average what you are charged in a year and level your monthly payments so that it's easier for you to budget your money. There are several ways for you to actually make your monthly payments, and these will be outlined in the steps below.
Open your monthly bill for your utility as soon as you get it.
Write down on a calendar the utility the bill is from, the amount of the bill and the date it's due. You usually have 2 to 3 weeks from the time you receive the bill and the due date.
Write a check for the amount due, or go to a currency exchange or bank and get a bank check or money order for the amount due.
Place the payment and the portion of the utility bill into the envelope they provide with the bill. Put a stamp on it, if required, and mail it. Make sure you mail the payment at least 5 days prior to the due date to give the post office time to deliver it.
Make an electronic payment over the phone or through the Internet. You need a bank account to do this, and some utilities will charge a fee for making the payment this way. If you chose this method, you should make the payment at least a day or two before the due date.
Make your utility payment in person at an authorized agent of that utility. You can call the utility and get a list of authorized payment locations near you. Sometimes they are located in banks, currency exchanges or retails stores. You then can pay by check, money order or cash, and these types of payments can be made on the due date or before.
- If you find you cannot pay your whole bill, or cannot pay your bill on time, call the utility right away and ask to either extend your due date or enter into a special payment plan. Most are happy to work with you if you contact them.
- Most utilities will only let unpaid bills go for a month or two at most. Then they will contact you with a new date that they will shut your service off on unless you pay what you owe. If they do shut off the utility, they will probably not only want the delinquent bills paid, but the current bill also, and will ask you to put down a sizable deposit before they will turn your utility back on.