Love or loathe the budget, bills are the real enemy
The Budget this week has me thinking about how no one likes their finances meddled with, especially given the prospect of more or increased bills. I’m no exception.
When they arrive in my letter box I’m instantly in a bad mood. I know they’re due but somewhere in the back of my mind I still hope that just once in my lifetime, the “systems” will go down and all the slates will be wiped clean.
I find I’m actually quite defensive towards them. I sometimes wonder if I were to tear it up, would anyone notice?
Of course they would, they would hunt me down and in the meantime they would cut off my supply.
Bills are essential in the framework of our existence. They’re like frequent bowel movements. Without them everything comes to a painful halt.
But lately I find I’ve become even more frustrated, the recent scandals around banking fees have prompted me to look more closely at my receipts – transactions fees, service fees, phone banking fees, ATM $2 dollar fees, insurance fees. So many fees.
And what has really infuriated me lately is receiving my bills as e-statements or suffer an additional fee for using paper. I get an email telling me that my statement is available to be viewed online.
So now I need another in a long list of usernames and passwords.
In our hectic lives an email telling us to view a bill is generally something that can wait until later. Last month alone I had to pay overdue fees because I forgot to pay one. It’s the first time I’ve done it and it was infuriating.
I understand the whole save the trees business but to me a bill doesn’t feel real unless you can hold it in your hand and then angrily toss it in the waste paper bin.
The other bills I hate are the guilt bills – the ones we pay, for peace of mind in the event of anything bad ever happening. I’m talking about insurance. Fully comprehensive car insurance, property insurance, health cover, life cover, death cover, pet cover, wage insurance, payment protection insurance… and the list goes on depending on your circumstance.
We can insure ourselves against fairly much anything these days, which probably isn’t a great advertisement for optimism.
And if we do get the sudden urge to take a risk, no doubt we’ll be halted in our tracks by the all too familiar saying, “The day you’re not covered is the day something will go wrong.”
Has anyone proved that? Has anyone gone out and tested the validity of that statement? If there are any studies you can point me to, please do.
It doesn’t matter I suppose, it’s hard to put a price on peace of mind and one thing is for certain, we never do know what’s around the corner.
We live in an age of uncertainty and advancement, of greater opportunities and fewer excuses. We have mind-boggling technology that streamlines and manages our lives.
But just because all of this doesn’t come for free doesn’t mean we have to enjoy paying for it.
Perhaps we can console ourselves with the words of Oscar Wilde. “A man who pays his bills on time is soon forgotten”.
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