Sunday, July 29, 2012

Paying Bills Makes Me Feel Alive

Very recently (like, one week ago), my husband and I decided that maybe he should handle paying bills for awhile. Today, I crumbled and scheduled our bill payments for the beginning of the months and planned our payments for our student loans.

I don't know what it is. Bills, on the one hand, make me sad. I don't like paying away money each month. But it's not hard to understand that they are a requirement if I want the lights to stay on and if I want to be able to blog from the comfort of my a/c-cooled, internet-capable home.

So since bills have to be paid, I like to view them as a puzzle, based around what we need to pay each month and what we'd like to get each month. Sometimes, it's a stressful puzzle when unexpected needs suddenly mount up. Sometimes, it's really enjoyable because through hard work and careful planning, we make up for those unexpected needs.

Also, I should probably mention that I keep a spreadsheet with all the payment information. It might be said that I enjoy spreadsheets. One time, I made a spreadsheet designed to show the value of various pizza brands and sizes per square inch. (We ended up buying a 30" pizza and that was our lunch and dinner for a week. Value is not always glamorous).

With a baby on the way, though, each month brings us closer to having financial responsibility for another human being and budgeting doesn't seem fun, but scary. Getting close to - or going over - our goals, whether weekly, monthly or yearly, is stressful in a way that it never has been before.

I cried one time because although I had budgeted for a bill, I had forgotten to actually pay it. It wasn't late at this point. I just didn't pay it on the time schedule that I usually stuck to, and I had been so excited to see our bank account staying at a high number - until I realized that number was due to a distinct lack of paying a bill.

So last week, my husband suggested that perhaps he should take care of the bills for awhile. Being that I can see how ridiculous it is to cry over a bill that did not break our budget and was not late and did not incur any late fees, I agreed.

But then I started to wonder. How would I know when to enter items on the spreadsheet? I know my husband wouldn't be worried about it, but I really like having data to analyze. I love being able to say with confidence what we spent at the grocery store each month.

And I mean, yeah, I was stressed about the partially forgotten bill from the other week, but that was a week ago, and I was more stressed wondering which payments my husband would choose to schedule when and from which accounts and then I wouldn't know which card to use to pay for groceries and I needed to buy groceries today so... I crumbled and paid our bills and well, it felt great.

I might be addicted to managing finances.

1 comment:

  1. I love spreadsheets too. I too us it to help me keep up with my bills. I'm glad you felt great about paying the bills on June 29.