Debra — The bill comes due . . .

This is not my sticky note.  But it COULD be my sticky note.  I need this sticky note.

I hate to pay bills.  Why?  (No, that’s not rhetorical.  That’s a real question. Why?!)

It’s not that hard.  It’s not rocket science.  I’m lucky enough to have a budget and stable income to fund the budget. (I remind myself every day of this luxury.) Everything is set up online. It’s a little typing and some clicking.  How hard can that be?

And yet . . . I will avoid it.  This makes me feel lazy.

But then I realized, fictional characters do a lot of things, but they don’t actually pay bills unless paying bills gives a character a clue that her husband is cheating or planning her demise.  Or the stack of unopened bills is a clue that the character is in financial difficulty and will be forced to pull one last bank job.  But we don’t see fictional characters sitting down to pay bills very often.  Nope.  No fictional characters have to check expense accounts for a husband who travels internationally against an American Express bill.  And you know why?  PAYING BILLS IS BORING.

Obviously, I’m not alone in my avoidance of bill paying.  I take comfort in that and feel marginally less lazy. I didn’t invent the boring game that is “fiscal responsibility.” Putting round pegs in round holes isn’t a great challenge.  If it were, writers would be waxing poetic about paying bills.  Novels would contain scenes of great bill paying conflict and challenge.  They don’t.

It’s official.  Paying bills is boring.  Now, at least.  The early years were a challenge.  Those were the square peg, round hole years. I almost remember those years fondly.  When I first left home, when I first got married, paying the bills was exciting.  Whose names would go in the hat to get paid?  Would we be eating anything but tuna until the next payday?  Could we see a movie?  Was this week finally the week we’d get to eat out?  Oh, then it was game.  (A life and death game, but there was an uncertainty in the outcome that kept me on my toes and out of stores.) I felt like I’d won the lottery when we had more than two dimes and a dollar to rub together after paying rent, utilities, food and putting gas in the car.

Today I’m happily in the crowd of folks who made it from the shoestring budget of a newlywed to a budget which supports eating out as an inalienable human right. I don’t want to go backward! But I am searching for a way to make me grab the stack of bills and go wild right on schedule twice a month.  Maybe if I asked my husband to glue candy to the bills before he put them in the drawer?  OPEN ONLY WHEN THE BILL IS PAID.

Speaking of budgets, did you know you could get a great deal a BIG DEAL on three Bell Bridge books this week at Amazon?  SIGN OFF (mystery with romantic elements) by Patricia McLinn, OUT OF HER DEPTH (mystery with romance) by Brenda Hiatt, and A DOG NAMED SLUGGER (memoir of life with a service dog) by Leigh Brill.  Each of these is just $ 1.99 at Amazon this week!  Go now!

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10 Responses to Debra — The bill comes due . . .

  1. Paying bills don’t bother me. What I hate is emptying the dishwasher! I know, we’re talking about a 5 minute job but I’ll spend hours (or days!) putting it off and yet, once I start, it takes no time at all. I have no idea where this quark came from!

    • debradixon says:

      Hey, I hear you. We all have stupid blocks for simple tasks. I am attempting to figure out my block. Blocks. Because now I have to admit to avoiding the dishwasher, too ! Arrgh.

  2. forestjane says:

    With MLGW you can fill out a form to have it automatically deducted from a checking account each month. Regardless of how impoverished I am, that’s one that I always pay first anyway. Same thing with AT&T and Comcast. Through the wonders of automatic payments, I only write 1 or 2 checks a year. One to quilt guild for membership, and one to quilt guild for the retreat/class fees. Everything else I pay by Discover Card, and then that’s automatically paid each month too, lol

    • debradixon says:

      You know, I don’t do autopay and maybe I should look into that. That would at least relieve some of the urgency of the bill paying. Hmmm…

  3. Lois Greiman says:

    I’m so with you Deb. I chalk it up to ADHD which is undiagnosed but still really….I have to sit there HOW long to write the checks?? Then again I’m the same way with buying gas. I’ll run on empty for a long time before I stop to fill up. Apparently I’m all about Russian Roulette.

    • debradixon says:

      LOL! Russian roulette with the gas tank. Yep. That’s kind of a great way to look at it. I too will ::ahem:: occasionally wonder if I can make it home and stick the hubby with the gas chore. (g)

  4. When we came home from our honeymoon, we had enough money in the bank to pay a car payment -$60. We borrowed food from my motther-in-law until the next paycheck came in. I paid the electric bill many times, praying it would get there before the guy came to cut it off. And ya know what? I still head for the bargain racks in a department store. Old habits are hard to break. (bg)

    • debradixon says:

      Yep. I remember those days. “Car, please don’t break until we finish paying for you. I can fix you or I can buy you but I can’t do both.”

  5. Kylie Brant says:

    Have to say it again…your covers are gorgeous!!!

    And yes paying bills sucks. The only thing worse was when we didn’t have enough money to pay them all without juggling with non-essentials like food and shelter 🙂 So it’s easier now…not as stressful…but still boring.

    However, compared to cleaning up dog puke twelve times a day (for the last week!) paying bills is a breeze. And it doesn’t cost me new carpet. So it’s all relative 🙂

    • debradixon says:

      Unrelenting dog puke! Oh, man! You have my sympathy. New carpet would have put a dent in the budget for sure! Glad you escaped. Hope your dog is better. I’m imagining you didn’t get a lot of sleep either.

      And thank you so much for saying nice things about the covers. We do try really hard!

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