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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Joy of Paying Bills?

Years ago I decided to “invest” in a “PAID” stamp. I wasn’t running a high powered enterprise with squillions changing hands – I was earning a modest sum trying to get ahead and chase the illustrious and ever disappearing dream of owning a home. But there was something about that stamp that kept me going.

Sometimes I could only stretch to a certain amount, other times I had even got ahead! When as a couple we both ended up being paid monthly and within 48 hrs of each other the buffer that alternating fortnights we enjoyed for many years was gone. We had to actually budget.

Money is so intangible now that it is all about virtual transactions – it’s not like dividing up your cash into piles across all your bills and heading in to pay them all. A lot of that symbolism has gone and and to me sometimes it feels some of the consciousness around what we spend disappeared with it. My cousin writes down everything she buys. I have never understood it – I am far too reckless. Sometimes I like to just not have to think about it. Perhaps it was all those years of working to put myself through formal study and support myself after leaving home as a teenager that having a decent income rewards me with sometimes not even caring what I spent at a cafe so long as I enjoyed myself and the company of others.

Being back on one income after the arrival of little dragon has required the need for some discipline (gaaah and even after six months I am still not getting it quite right!!) so I wasn’t surprised that as the COO of this household, responsible for all financial and administrative duties I took some pleasure in using this stamp and putting these bills in the filing pile.  Even during our worst struggles when using this stamp was far less frequent it still was the little ‘pat on the back’ I needed to keep going so that we could climb back up again.

I have always felt that as a woman there were two things in life that one should aspire to do:- drive a car (even better own one) and be able to pay your own bills. Why? Because I witnessed and experienced too many women fall victim to abusive relationships where their survival was at the mercy of the perpetrators of the violence. Being able to drive away and pay your own bills could be the key to unlock the door.

So each time I grudgingly deal with those bills, I remind myself I am lucky to be able to pay them. And if you’re in business for yourself you know you enjoy the feeling when you get paid so how about upping the ante and don’t delay on getting your invoices out!?

How do you motivate yourself financially?

Paid

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Hey thanks!