Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

#KeepingUpWithTheBills Episode 2 – Businesses Also Pay Bills

businesses pay bills

If you run a business, then you’ll definitely know that businesses pay as many Bills, if not more than individuals. This is why we had a chat session on our twitter profile with Oreoluwa Shonibare, the co-founder and lead of Wiicreate, a print and merchandise company (@wiicreate), to get an objective view of what it’s like to pay bills as a business.

Essential Business Bills

Bills can be overwhelming because they can stretch out to almost every sphere. However, during the live tweet session, Oreoluwa highlighted Electricity, Water and Logistics as the most important business Bills he takes care of as a business owner.

He further gave an example of how his business had severe production issues and delay when he forgot to pay the Electricity Bill. As trivial as it may seem, electricity is a big deal when running a manufacturing company like Wiicreate.

Keeping Up With the Business Bills

By now, we understand how important paying Bills are to a business. But the question here is, how do you manage Bill Payments in business and still stay focused on your goals?

Our guest offered a couple of strategies he had implemented in his business. In his words, “Plan. I cannot overemphasize this. Planning Bill Payments would help businesses stay afloat and comfortably cover the bills.”

“Another is to watch spending. It is almost a popular practice for young business owners to overcompensate themselves to the detriment of the business. I think it is poor practice and bad for the growth of the business. Putting the business first and investing in it is one of the fastest ways to lead to growth- this includes planning for the bills.”

He was also against using business funds for catering personal Bills. He encouraged saving, budgeting and transparency by referring to them as edge that keeps you prepared in business. So you might want to take saving and budgeting seriously as a business owner.

Final key Gem

Before the tweet chat ended, Oreoluwa urged young entrepreneurs to get their hands dirty and hone their business ideas and products. He referred to them as the ‘key players in the development of the country’. He also looked forward to having easy and convenient Bill Payments with BuyPower.

Follow our twitter page @buypowerng to see our full chat with Oreoluwa and be notified of our next #KeepingUpWithTheBills Series.

This is Why Banks Request for Your Utility Bill

utility bills

“Err, sir, you will have to provide a utility bill for each of the last three months”.

Does the above line sound familiar? Sure, it does.

It can be quite frustrating when you walk into a bank to open a new account, upgrade an existing account or carry out a certain transaction and they request a utility bill. Sometimes you wonder if it is really essential, especially when you have no way of getting it at that moment.

Then go ahead to wonder why exactly they need this.

So why do financial institutions request for your utility bill?

Utility Bills are the easiest way to prove that you actually live at the address you claim to. Paying for electricity is an important duty of a homeowner or a resident. If you really claim to live somewhere, they want to see evidence of your stay there. In cases of loans and requests, a utility can be used to track your spending, how you keep to deadlines, how you treat basic and essential needs.

Many users do not think they can get their Utility Bills online. Well, this is false. We have news for you – The good news is you can process your Utility Bill whenever you Purchase Units on BuyPower.ng and it’s absolutely free!

How to process a utility bill

On BuyPower.ng, we have created a convenient way to get your utility bill. You can access this if you use either our website or Mobile App.

Simply follow the steps below:

On the Mobile App:

  1. On the homepage, click on ‘order history
  2. This will lead you to all the transactions you’ve made on Buypower with your account.
  3. Click on whichever transaction you want to process and scroll till you see the ‘Save as PDF’ icon.
  4. Tapping on that icon would save the utility bill on your phone as a PDF file which you can print out later.

On the Web:

  1. Once logged in on the homepage, click on ‘Click here to buy electricity’.
  2. On the navigation bar slightly below the top right-hand corner, click on ‘Transaction History’.
  3. This will lead you to every transaction you’ve made on Buypower with your account.
  4. Click on the transaction you want to process and scroll down until you see the ‘Print Receipt’ icon.
  5. Click on the icon and then save. The bill will be automatically saved on your device and if you are connected to a printer, you can proceed to print it out.

Please note that both prepaid and postpaid users can print their utility bills on BuyPower.ng.

So, next time you’re thinking twice about buying Electricity online because there’d be no Utility Bill, think again. We got you.

If you want to process a utility bill right now, Visit the website or Download our Mobile App.

Four (4) Valentine Gift Ideas For Your Loved Ones

valentine

While you are meant to show love to your folks every day, Valentine’s day is set aside so you can do this via a cool gesture. People have, for years, used this day to either get gifts for loved ones, spend quality time with them, reassure them of how much they are loved and ten thousand other ways that come to mind.

As this day is approaching really fast, we decided to come up with Gift Ideas that won’t break your bank account. Our aim is to make sure you don’t get in a situation where you can’t pay your bills after celebrating Valentine. Hence, these pocket-friendly and at the same time, lovely gift ideas.

You should check them out.

1. Put Together A Hamper.

valentine gift ideas

One good thing about getting a Hamper for your loved ones is that it contains numerous items that can appeal to the receiver. It can contain a Valentine’s love card [with a beautifully written message], edible snacks, portable electronic devices and other stuff that the receiver would cherish.

2. Organize A Dinner/Picnic.

You can also organize a dinner or picnic for your loved one(s). Asides the food [which is an important part of dinner], you are also spending quality time with them. Spending time with loved ones via these channels is usually appreciated. The Dinner/Picnic can be dedicated to talking about interesting memories, and what the future holds. No work or serious stuff.

3. Subscribe To Their Favorite Form Of Entertainment.

A subscription to your loved ones’ favorite form of entertainment is also a great way to celebrate this Valentine. You are bound to come to mind anytime they are engaged in that activity you subscribed to. With this, you can dictate the length of the subscription according to your budget and finances.

4. Pay Their Electricity Bills.

Imagine your loved ones (parents, partners, siblings) do not have to worry about paying Electricity Bills for the next month because of you. Do you know how much it will mean to them? We think our users can celebrate their loved ones by buying Electricity Units for them on BuyPower.ng. You just need their Meter Number and Location!

While there are various other ways to celebrate Valentine’s day, these are simple ways that would be well appreciated and wouldn’t break the bank. Trust us and try these.

You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share your plans.

#KeepingUpWithTheBills Episode 1 – Saving & Budgeting for your Bills

Bills are a very important part of people’s lives. For adults, paying bills is almost inevitable. Hence, it is important that there’s enough knowledge to go round when it comes to servicing these bills. BuyPower.ng launched the #KeepingUpWithTheBills tweet chat series because we want to help adults adopt the best practices when it comes to paying bills.

For example, help them understand the best ways to save for bills or show them why the process of Electricity Bill payments should be as seamless as BuyPower.ng provides.

The first episode of the #KeepingUpWithTheBills series hosted Feranmi Ajetomobi who is a Brand Storyteller at Cowrywise, a wealth tech company in Nigeria. The episode focused on “The Best Ways to Saving and Budgeting for your Bills.”

Best believe there were a lot of gems dropped in the episode.

Let’s show you.

Who is Feranmi Ajetomobi?

I am a brand storyteller with Nigeria’s top wealth tech, Cowrywise. In my spare time, I cook and teach people how to create amazing content.

Over to the Questions,

What are the best ways to go about saving for bills since they are recurrent and most times, due monthly?

1. Identify your heavy recurrent bills. For example, your rent.
2. Break them down into daily/weekly/monthly bits
3. Set up an automated savings plan for them.
4. Keep these plans locked up.

A good example, if your rent is 360000, save 30,000 monthly. That’s easier than coughing out 360,000 at once.

What are the three most important bills you think every adult should prioritize?

To be fair, this can be subjective. Although, I will say these 3+1 bills matter the most:

1. Rent

2. Transport

3. Feeding

Honorary mention: DATA!

One interesting thing to do with feeding is group purchase. Pool funds together with friends and hire a trustworthy party to make purchases on your behalf. Alternatively, you can all agree on a market day—preferably a Saturday—to make the purchases yourself. This can be done monthly for major food purchases.

When creating a monthly budget, what percentage of your income is advised to go into servicing bills?

Once again, there’s no one answer to this. But if you can, cap all expenses at 50% of your income.

A Case Study

During the tweet chat, we had to bring in a real-life situation to make the whole process more relatable. Here was our case:

Consider Ope. Ope has a strict N20,000 budget for electricity every month. As things stand, s(he) discovered that this month’s purchase wouldn’t last her till the end of the month. What advice do you have for Ope?

The first thing Feranmi thinks Ope should do is to understand what really led to that and ensure it doesn’t repeat itself in the next month. Then he adds that allowances can be made for expansion.

Moving Forward,

Is there a science behind bills taking an upward spiral once income increases? Why is this usually the case?

Well, there isn’t a science per se but there’s something known as lifestyle inflation—your expenses keep increasing to take up your income. One way to battle this is through percentage budgeting.

What do you think are the benefits of budgeting for your bills?

Growing up we all learnt that budgeting helps us with planning our money and keeping us within our means. Traditionally, you’ll pick an item and assign a cost to it. This can be dangerous and can lead to lifestyle inflation. This goes on to defeat the intent of living within your means, and here’s where percentage budgeting can help.

For instance, if you allocate 50% to expenses, 20% to savings and 30% to whatever you choose, you’ll do better with saving. As your income increases, your expenses will increase but stay limited to that %. Your savings will increase also.

So, allocate percentages to specific buckets before you do a budget breakdown. You can review the percentage every 3 years, for instance,—with a focus on increasing allocations to savings and investments.

Finally, set up a crisis budget. That is, a budget you can survive on if things go south.

More?

How does one find a balance between bill payment and quality of life?

This boils down to planning, again.

For instance, you want a great vacation with but your wallet is speaking brokenness. Set up a timeline, and contribute gradually. Also, such group plans will save you money. In summary, Plan comfortable contribution timelines & lookout for group experiences.

Finally,

Tell us a piece of random advice every bill-paying adult should know.

Multiply your hustle, and learn to survive on the least income source. For example, you earn 200k from A and 150k from B—learn to survive majorly with B.

So, there you have it. It was a great time chatting with Feranmi. Follow us on Twitter to be notified of our next #KeepingUpWithTheBills series.

We are sure you want someone else to benefit from this wealth of knowledge. Do share with your folks.

Moving Into a New Apartment? Here Are Four (4) Things You Must Check

Welcome to 2020, dear reader!

It’s the beginning of another year, and we expect that a chunk of people are recalibrating their lives, making new resolutions and decisions, attempting newer things and per what we want to talk to you about, moving into new apartments.

Generally, the beginning of a year is a great time to move into a new apartment. It gives that sense of a new beginning, lets people set new, proper (rent) goals for the year and so on.

Hence, we decided to write this to inform our readers of stuff to look out for when moving into a new apartment this new year. Especially as it pertains to access to electricity.

Stay with me.

1. Make Sure The House Is Free From Electricity Debt.

One very common occurrence that happens to new tenants is, they get to meet an electricity debt owed by a former tenant in the apartment they moved into. As a result, they are bound to pay up such debt subsequently.

Before moving into an apartment, please make sure (by either asking the landlord or reaching out to your Electricity Distribution Company) that there isn’t a debt owed in the house. Else, the previous debt is combined with (re)current ones and the burden is placed on the new tenant.

2. Inspect the Apartment for Any Illegal Electricity Connections.

Except you want to, at some point, be detained for offenses you know nothing about, please try to inspect the apartment for any illegal electricity connections. If you find any, make sure you disconnect such.

How would an illegal connection be determined if there’s one? We recommend employing the services of a good electrician to make this check and give appropriate advice and recommendations.

3. Determine the Kind of Electricity (And Other) Billings.

Nigerian houses are largely still divided into two forms of billing, per their electricity consumption – Prepaid meters and estimated billings. With Prepaid billings, you can buy electricity units before consumption, while those on estimated billing get an estimated bill after monthly consumption.

This should be determined before moving into an apartment, so it helps to know how to plan and budget for bills. Also, ask if water bills are paid for, and other forms of recurrent bills to help you plan.

4. Troubleshoot Prepaid Meter.

If the apartment uses a prepaid meter, please make sure to confirm if the meter is working fine. Purchasing electricity units on www.buypower.ng, inputting your token and checking to see if there’s an issue you might need to resolve is a good start.

Once there’s an issue, do reach out to the respective Electricity Distribution Company and request for a Meter Engineer.

So, that’s it. Four things to be checked to have a problem-free stay in a new apartment.

If you have more ideas on things to check out for when moving to a new apartment, kindly share them with us. It could be from your experience or things you overlooked when you moved to your present apartment.

The floor is yours!

How to buy electricity with BuyPower USSD short code

buypower ussd short code

We are quite sure you must have had times where you did not have access to the internet, and also had to buy electricity urgently. This must have been frustrating for you especially if you were unaware of the availability of a BuyPower USSD short code. Well, if this was the case, here’s a fix.

By popular demand, we are providing you with a step by step guide on how to buy electricity using the BuyPower USSD short code.

You should know at this point that there are various ways and modes of buying electricity on the BuyPower platform. You can buy electricity online on the website, via the mobile app – Android and iOS – and if offline, a USSD short code is provided for your use as well.

We have always made clear how important our users’ convenience and satisfaction is. It is why unlike other platforms, we take this seriously and have provided several channels to buy electricity. Now, let me guide you.

Buy Electricity with BuyPower USSD short code

First, what is the BuyPower USSD short code?

Here: *402*00009548*amount#

This is a code you can dial on your phone, even if it is a feature phone, to buy electricity from the comfort of your home. This is because dialing and using this code does not require an internet connection. Hence, any kind of phone with a dialer can carry this action out for you.

Just follow the steps below:

+Dial: *402*00009548*amount#

+Once you dial the code above, you will be prompted to enter your meter number.

+Follow the subsequent prompt[s] to complete payment. If it is your first time making payment using this [ussd code] channel, you will be required to create a password; between 4 to 6 digits. Please note this password will be required for subsequent transactions.

+Afterwards, an electricity token will be automatically sent to your phone number via SMS. Please note that you should dial the short code above from the phone number registered to your bank account.

+This code doesn’t work for first bank users. If you use first bank, kindly select USSD/bank transfer on our website.

So guys, here you have it. Your step by step guide to buying electricity offline, with any kind of device, on BuyPower. With the BuyPower USSD short code.

Do drop your comments and questions below.

Here are Safety Tips while dealing with Electricity

Hey guys!

In furthering our bid to keep churning out educating contents to our customers, here’s another.

We’ll be looking at a variety of safety tips which we think should be at everybody’s disposal. These safety tips are expected to be rules of thumb for everybody. Because, at some point, we’ve always had/we will surely have to deal with electricity.

While there are numerous electricity safety tips and more to come from us, we will be taking a look at a limited number of them in this post. A lot of these will have to do with our daily process, so we see why they are very important tips.

Let’s move.

1. Avoid water at all times when working with electricity. Never touch or try repairing any electrical equipment or circuits with wet hands. It increases the conductivity of the electric current.

2. Do not store highly flammable liquids near electrical equipment. You’ll be reducing the possibility of an explosion.

3. You should treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized. You never know.

4. Never fly kites near overhead power lines. If your kite or someone’s gets caught in the lines, let it go. Don’t attempt to remove it.

5. Do not overload electrical outlets with too many items plugged in at once. Kapish?

6. As a rule of thumb, you should always unplug an appliance before cleaning or repairing it.

7. Remember that you should never stick your fingers, toys or anything except electric plugs into electric outlets.

8. Do not forget to always shut down main power source when replacing fuses.

Do you have more of these, please share with others in the comments section.

All you need to know about Prepaid [Prepayment] Meters in Nigeria

This post encompasses all you, a customer, needs to know about prepaid meters in Nigeria. It covers what exactly they are, how to acquire them, their advantages [over conventional meters] and how to recharge them.

What are prepaid meters?
Prepaid meters are a special kind of [smart] meters which, as the name implies, allows you to pay for the electricity you consume beforehand. This is usually carried out with the use of a token or a key card. The tokenized smart meters are recharged by inputting a generated 20-digit token number into it and it provides the value of electricity paid for.

These kinds of meters are currently being adopted throughout the country and have proven to be much more better than the previous, ordinary meters. The conventional meters adopt a shared payment model which does not put in consideration, individual use. To be put clearly, the prepaid meters allows you to operate a ‘pay as you use’ model.

How to get prepaid meters

Since most regions are served by a particular distribution company, the acquisition of prepaid meters for use can be from respective DISCOs. For example,

Residents of Abuja, Kogi, Jos and Niger can acquire their prepaid meters from Abuja Electricity Distribution Company [AEDC]. Residents of Lagos state can either approach the Ikeja Electricity company or the Eko electricity company.

And sometimes, the companies on their own accord, sometimes do a mass metering. And share prepaid meters to residents.

Advantages of prepaid meters

Your budget
Unlike other modes of metering where you pay high amounts as electricity charge regardless of the value of electricity consumed, the acquisition of a prepayment meter helps you be in total control of how much you want to spend on electricity at any given time, or within a given timeframe. Hence, you can confidently create a budget for electricity and streamline your usage to fit it.

Electricity consumption
Once you are in control of your budget, it tells on your consumption of electricity. You tend to consume more in a big house with heavy electrical appliances and electronics. Hence, you are at liberty to know when to tone down your consumption and what not. Plus you can also keep track of your electricity consumption.

You’re paying for the exact value
Who doesn’t want a situation where they will be paying for the exact value they receive? Well, we do. The prepayment meter makes this possible. Your payment of, say, N10,000 serves you the exact value. Traditional metering systems does not consider the value of power each house receives.

Ease of recharge
Another excitement about using prepaid meters is the ease of recharge. Buying or recharging electricity in this case can be done over the internet, or even with the use of feature phones. Buypower is a great platform to purchase electricity online, via the use of a mobile app or website or a short code.

Other advantages:
It allows for automatic outage detection which enables proactive dispatch of crews.
It reduces the need for the power company to access properties.

Prepayment meters obviously seems a better alternative to the conventional types of meters. Depending on the preferences of the consumer.

Let us know, are you getting a prepaid meter soon? Or if you have one already, what’s your experience like?

A Simple Guide to Budgeting for your Electricity Bills

You get to a point in life where you can not escape the burden of paying for utility bills and buying your own electricity. Other forms of these utility bills include gas, water, sewer services and more. Knowing these, a lot of people then have to struggle with the idea of creating a budget for them. Hence, we have created this post to guide you into budgeting for your electricity bills.

Budgeting is a very important feature which helps you get started on the right footing as per your financials. While bills might come as a surprise at times, proper budgeting helps prevent this and give you the perfect readiness you need to pay most of your bills. We want to help you do that.

Let’s explore how you can budget for your electricity bills, shall we?

+First, calculate your income
Before you create a budget for your utility payments, it is important to know the actual amount you earn after tax. You might think you already know this but, a valid advice would be that you do a double check for confirmation. After this, it will enable you have an idea of how much from the total amount can be used to pay for electricity. Payments can be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or at any interval through which you earn.

While there is no standard percentage of your income that is meant to be for electricity bill payments, this gives a rough estimate.

+Do an assessment of your electronics and other devices
After calculating your income, it is important that you do an assessment of your electronics and other devices which consume electricity when in use. For example, do you have a refrigerator? How about an air conditioner? Do you use a deep freezer? How many light bulbs, fans, televisions, speakers are in your house, and how many are frequently in use? Knowing this would help you have an idea on how much electricity you consume.

Please note that knowing how much electricity you consume does not equate having a particular figure. It only helps you understand that the higher the number of appliances you own, the higher the volume of electricity you consume. This, however, varies depending on how frequent your devices or appliances are used.

+Determine how much to budget
Juxtaposing your income and your number of electronics [and frequency of their use] will help you determine what percentage of it will go to electricity. There is no one percentage that should. It all depends on your usage.

So, once you do these above, you can make a more informed decision on the amount to budget for electricity. And you don’t have to witness unexpected downtimes [trust me, you don’t want to witness them].

+Pay via Buypower.ng
Once you have decided on how much to set aside for your electricity bill in a timeframe, you get to pay easily via an online platform like Buypower.ng. All that is required doesn’t exceed your meter number, amount and payment mode. And you’re good to go.

Starting to budget for your utility bills a first step to make it easier to bear as young adult or retiree. Also, be definitely assured that we’re with you every step of the way. Here are more answers to questions about buying your electricity on our platform.