Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is a credit balance bad?

Humans are not rational.  I think back to economics class when they talk about consumers being cool, calm, rational robot-like decision makers.  That's a complete fallacy because, let's face it, humans are completely irrational.

Let's take my Puget Sound Energy compulsion as today's example. 

Facts: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is our natural gas company.  We have forced air gas heat. We do not have air conditioning in our house.  Our house is 4,600 square feet.  The temperature in this area is fairly cool for the vast majority of the year. Thus, our gas bills are tiny in the summer and FREAKING HUGE in the fall, winter and spring.

Rational Person:  A rational person would go on the budget billing plan and let the gas company figure out how much you should pay each month to break even at the end of the year.

Irrational Person (me): An irrational person would give PSE a large amount of money to ensure that there is absolutely no possibility that a bill will come due in the next 3 months.  Right now I have a -$930 balance with PSE.  That's a negative sign, meaning that I have a credit balance of $930 with them.  In other words, dummo me has given them $930 interest-free so that we can squirrel away some nuts (i.e., heat) when the weather starts to get cold.

Husband says I'm crazy to give PSE so much money in advance.

I say, "What if we both lose our jobs?  Isn't it comforting to know that we can turn on the heat since we have a credit balance and don't have to freeze to death?"

Husband says, "A NINE HUNDRED DOLLAR CREDIT BALANCE is insane.We could put that in the bank and earn interest."

I then keep muttering about being able to have heat, and if he loses his job and can choose to live in a box in the front lawn in 20 degree weather or can instead be inside where it's a balmy 55 degrees due to my pre-planning, he has ME to thank.  And since savings accounts are paying 0.001% interest, we're only forgoing $1 in interest anyway.

He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not.

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