My mother came to live with us about six months ago. She has a great deal of anxiety and it has been extremely difficult for her to pay her bills for the last couple of years because just the thought of writing checks and making sure everything gets paid stresses her out.
She had a checking and savings account with a credit union but we soon found that it would be difficult to work with them since there are only two branches and both are quite a distance from where I live. So we decided to open an account for her where I bank, and she wanted me to be on the account so that I could have access to her account in case she couldn’t handle her money herself.
We’ve settled into a comfortable routine. She has all of her bills coming by mail and she collects those in one place as they arrive. She writes the amount due on the outside of the envelope and when the bill is due. Her money comes in on the 3rd, so I try to pay everything close to that date or within a couple days after.
I also have typed up a list in Excel of the bills that are due so we can verify that we have everything.
I began paying her bills in December. I logged into the checking account online and set up all the payees.
This brings to mind a memory of a bank with commercials on television of a young woman who was drawing a bath. She starts the water running, then she logs into her checking account and pays all her bills. Hah! That is not my experience and I felt like it was a big fat lie.
My mom’s bills come to a whopping $235 a month. Her monthly income is just over 4 times that amount. So she has more than enough money to pay her bills. It is truly a matter of turning on the water in the bathtub, log in and boop, boop, boop, boop, enter all the dollar amounts, which some of them are the exact same amount every month and hit send.
Simple. Easy. Not one iota of stress for me. Now my mother does not use computers, and so she was doing everything old school. Writing checks, stuffing envelopes, licking stamps… and she didn’t get mail service at her home. She had to have a post office box, so there was one more step, just to get bills paid.
In paying her bills, I am realizing why it is so difficult for me, and why I tend to get stressed out over paying my bills. I am $300 per month short on our personal finance expenses. And that’s a bare bones budget. If there are five Thursdays in the month, I’m $720 short. Plus I have blogging expenses. Thankfully I am earning money through blogging, so I am scraping by. But when it comes time to pay bills I have to calculate what I need to leave in my business account to pay those bills, then take an “owner’s draw”, and then recalculate and pay bills from this account and that account.
I’m looking forward to the day when I have enough money coming in to pay my bills without having to move money here and there and back and forth.
What about you? Do you have enough money to pay your bills?
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