I remember my first perception of bill paying. My father owned a cash business (restaurant) so once a month, he’d organise stacks of cash and on top of our dining room table. Each stack would then be placed in an envelope along with the invoice or deposit slip for the bill he was paying - the bond on our house, electricity and water, merchandise orders for his business. I remember thinking, ‘Wow! My dad has so much money to pay for all these bills.’ He would proudly go to the bank the next day and pay them. I don’t remember him ever complaining – paying your dues was simply a part of life.
The downside is that, for a long time, I held a false belief that it was actually easy. I didn’t see the sweat and toil my dad put into building a business that could pay for itself and support two households. My dad did that before I was born so I took having money for granted. It’s no lie that I was a spoilt brat.
When my father approached retirement, the cashflow and his previous investments died out. I had to stop depending on daddy and stand on my own two feet. It took years and now that I’ve actually accomplished it (that is, being able to ‘comfortably’ pay my own way through life), and I must say that one of the things I take pleasure in is paying bills.
This morning, the first sms I received was a notification from the bank that money had been paid into my account (thank you to my clients). I then spent my morning paying bills – telephone, TV, internet, electricity, loans, etc. I find so much joy in logging onto internet banking and seeing money go out of my account. The reason for this is that I do not work for the money – I work to have a home with all the modern necessities that make it possible to do what I do and live the way we live. After paying the bills, my husband and I went shopping and we were able to buy food, toiletries and nurture my husband’s chocolate addiction. So we spent some of the money I received and we returned happy and satisfied, but not because of the spending part, but because our kitchen is now stocked up with all the items we need.
I see so many people complaining about bills and the rising cost of living, yet they do nothing to progress themselves and increase their earning opportunities. Yes, the cost of living is rising and we all know that many companies are milking us for everything they can get. We can fight, but none of us can argue that we do not want the things that make our lives more comfortable – clean running water, electricity, wifi. And although some of these things should ideally be freely available and we will continue to fight for this, it is both a pleasure and a blessing to be able to afford them. Instead of complaining, I advocate working harder at building sustainable businesses. We need to educate more people to make more money in order to meet the rising cost of living. Companies aren’t doing this as salaries stagnate and let’s not even get started on the government.
My heart goes out to people who cannot pay the bills. I have been there. My heart goes out to people who lie awake at night with an uncertainty of how they will make ends meet. I have been there too. I am grateful that I am able to pay the bills and help support my family. Until we live in a world where the basic rights of every human being are met, I hope and I pray and I will fight for the opportunity for as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the pleasure of paying their bills.