It sounds weird, I know. But I am. I’m not just thankful that I have money to pay them, I am thankful that someone thinks I can handle this responsibility and holds me accountable for it, every month. There are of course times that I wish these institutions were like my boss or my mother and a little more understanding.. but at the same time, my bills are things that I knowingly signed up for. I made the decision to move out, knowing that I would have to pay rent each month, more or less for the rest of my life… as well as utilities and internet and such. I knew when I started driving that I’d have to have insurance, and that the freedom of being able to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted, so long as I had gas, would cost me a monthly payment.
I’m someone who likes guidelines. I like knowing where the boundaries are. In fact, I’ve been known to push peoples’ buttons just so that in the future, I have that knowledge of what that person’s fuse is. Maybe that’s why I appreciate the hard lines of my bills so much. Ironically, appreciating my responsibilities is like a positive affirmation. Appreciating the fact that I am able to meet these responsibilities means that I will continue to be responsible when these bills have all been paid – and at that point, my investments in myself will really be paying off.
Of course, that’s not to say I’m fabulously wealthy and have a bunch of money to burn. I do live in an apartment. I have been shopping for a house but that’s just not in my 21-year-old budget. I drive a car that’s 8 or more years old and I regularly maintain it. This last year has been a bit difficult for me. Between launching my own business and taking classes without changing my work schedule, I also decided to take on some more financial responsibility (in order to help my credit support buying a house in the somewhat-near future). So, no matter how thankful I am for my bills, I still had to curb my spending habits and teach myself some new tricks. Here are a few of the things I learned so that you can try them, yourself.
- I always run up a monthly budget of how much inflow I will have (I round this down) and how much my regular bills cost me (I round this up). I also include some variables like gas and groceries. My new trick for this year was to specify how much fun money I was allowed between paychecks. This is the same theory behind building in some junk food into a new diet – allowing yourself SOME freedom to buy things when you are on a budget prevents you from going cold turkey and completely splurging.
- the “3x rule” – if I find something I think I need, I wait until I have felt that ‘need’ three times before I allow myself to buy it. Especially because I have access to just about every electronic do-dad, every book, and every piece of music I could possibly want, this really helps cut down on extraneous spending.
- pay yourself. Sometimes this is extremely difficult to do. Trust me, I know this more than anyone else. I have several ways I do this – both electronically and physically – but the important thing here is to save a little something from each check. This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and although I have ended up using a lot of these little savings for emergency bills as they’ve come up, that is exactly why it is important to save my money. I never know when I will need a little extra financial help.
I hope sharing my experience and lessons learned helps someone out there, especially with the fast approaching holiday. Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Namaste ❤