Paying bills doesn’t have to be a groan-worthy task. While the job could be called “drudgery” or described as “painful,” it is possible to have fun while fulfilling your financial obligations. Try some of these ideas:
You don’t have to spend money after paying bills just to reward yourself. It might seem tempting to go buy something, but that makes for more bills next month. Keep your budget in mind, and consider:
- A long bath with your favorite bubbles or oils
- Take the same amount of time you spend paying bills to watch a favorite tv show or movie you’ve been putting off
- Check the “rewards center” on your credit card website to see if you qualify for gift cards, free stuff, or contest entries
- Go outside, weather permitting, and soak up some sunshine and vitamin D to ease the stress
Watch Your Balances
It can be scary, but once you get started it’s fun to have a good grip on your finances. Know the balances, and keep track of how much you owe on credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. Watch that number decrease each month as you pay the bill. If you’re able to pay even a little bit more than the minimum, you’ll be proud to see the estimated payoff date get even closer. As you pay off your smaller bills, add that money to the ones you’re still paying for an even greater benefit.
Bills with a Buddy
Whether it is your spouse or a friend, enlist a trusted buddy to help. You don’t have to discuss specific dollar amounts, but sharing your success with another person just feels more rewarding. Set up a competition to see who can spend the lowest percentage of their budget on impulse purchases or discuss ways to keep the heating bill lower next winter. Keep each other accountable for paying on time each month, and communicating with creditors if there is a problem. Do it with a scheduled phone call, or make a date to get together in your home.
Keep Your Energy Up
Sitting down to pay bills can cause your brain to turn to mush. Have a snack, brew some coffee, use aromatherapy, or play upbeat music. If you pay all your bills for the month at one time, get up from your desk or computer every 15 minutes and stretch. Just don’t use things that are a distraction. Spending an hour on Facebook does not help you feel better about paying bills, and you’ll want to kick yourself rather than giving yourself a reward.
Be Kind and Smile
Smiling helps you feel better, even if you don’t feel like smiling. If you’re on the phone with a creditor, don’t just be polite, be nice. Cracking jokes and making small talk during the silence while they look up your account will not only make them more likely to want to help, it will make you feel better about the call. When writing checks, look for spaces on your bill for comments, and wish the reader a nice day. Online, look for a chat box or find a way to comment there. Fill out surveys if you’ve had great service, and say so. Thinking of ways to brighten someone else’s day is a fun activity to do while avoiding the drudgery of paying bills.