Thursday, January 24, 2013

How do we pay bills?

Maybe this Thrifty Thursday post won't be helpful to you, but I hope it might be!

I'm not Dave Ramsey, and I haven't read much of his writing (though I hope to!).
I do know that we live on a fairly tight budget and have learned to make
ends meet with God's grace and through His perfect provision.

One way we've done this is to prioritize our bill paying above all other expenses.
This my be only logical, but I don't think everyone approaches their finances like this.
As the primary "book keeper" in our home, this is what I've done!

When we get paid I write it in our checkbook register.
 Starting in the middle of the month, I look at the spreadsheet of our
bills that I use to keep us organized.
While our bank account is "full" I deduct bills that will be owed
(oftentimes weeks in advance) and record them in our register.
 In my mind, the money's gone at that point,
even if it won't be withdrawn for a week or so.
 I obviously leave money in our account when we know other expenses are coming,
for our cars, doctor's appointments, etc.
but to the best of my ability I spend our money on bills first.  

My husband thinks I'm crazy :)
He'll often ask about the amount in our account
and I'll explain that it's not "really there"!
He understands my system and is happy that it works for us,
though more mathematical and frugal people
may not need to trick themselves like I do, haha.

This simple way of paying our bills has been a
tremendous help to us month after month.
It offers us peace of mind, knowing that the bills we owe WILL be paid.
While we may need to lessen our grocery budget, or reconsider gift shopping,
or extra entertainment at one point or another,
we don't have to wonder where money will come from for
the more essential matters like rent or electricity. 

This way of thinking also helps me avoid over-spending when
it might otherwise seem like we have "extra".
Since our money is quickly designated, I'm not tempted to splurge in ways that I might
be otherwise if I was thinking about the present only and not our upcoming bills.

Maybe this will help you reorient your thinking as you pay bills!


Laura Day said...

Ohhh, great idea! I'm going to have to start looking at bills this way. Isn't it amazing how much easier things seem when you just look at them with a different perspective?

rachel said...

You should definitely read up on Dave Ramsey. Besides debt pay off, he also has great, practical advice about what to do with money once you're debt free. I'm a big fan!

Krista Juliff said...

Good strategy, Laura! I find that I need to "trick" myself too when it comes to money.

christiejayne said...

This is good stuff! I am going to read it again when my husband gets home!