The Way Bills Were Meant to Be Paid – Part 2
Our team has been wrestling for some time now to figure out what we call this process and we still don’t have a good name for it. We’ve called it “pay ahead”, “pay first”, and even “budget bill pay”. Before we settle in on a name for this bill paying method, let’s first introduce you to the problem we faced and then the 3 processes that helped us resolve the problem.
At Their Mercy
First, anytime you owe anyone, you’ve become a slave to that person, organization or business. When I say slave I really mean you’re at their mercy. The problem we faced with paying our bills was that we were always at the mercy of the bill statements. We are people of faith and believe there is no reason we should have to owe anyone anything. I like to think what good is being a person of faith if we can’t improve something as simple as paying our bills. It’s not the principle for good finances as outlined in the Bible, anyway.
Pamela and I had some renovations done on our home. We had to pay the contractor upfront before any work began. What we noticed was that the contractor was then at our mercy. We had the opportunity, if necessary, to harass the contractor and not the other way around. When we realized this shift, we said how can we make this work with all our bill collectors?
This is where 3 processes we’ve seen in action come into play. The processes helped us create the solution we so desired:
- Save 3-6 months of your bills. Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps created a problem for us for years. We’d try saving and putting away 1 month or so worth of our financial obligations and then something would come up. You know what something is? Anything that needs the money and we had nowhere else to get it from other than what we were saving. Needless to say and even though it’s a great idea, we’ve not been able to save 3-6 months worth of bills. But what if we changed our approach to how to save 3-6 months? What if we created a method that works for us and others like us to make it possible?
- The Rent-a-Center method to owning. My brother worked for Rent-a-Center years ago; it’s a place where you rent to own. The customer makes very small payments over time until they own the goods. I bet you’re wondering what does Rent-a-Center have to do with paying your bills? What if you could make small enough payments that you could actually manage and get to the desired results we’re talking about?
- Budget billing. The Southern Company and other utilities offer a service to their customers called budget billing. I’ve never been a fan of this method because it also leaves you at the mercy of the collector. Budget billing is a way for the customer to spread payments evenly over a period of time, making your payments the same each month. It’s to make paying your bill easy so that the service provided gets paid and keeps you from having interrupted service. What if you had a budget billing system that worked to your advantage and not theirs?
The answer to you no longer being at the mercy of your bills is found in these 3 processes.
Today is Friday!
Saving 3-6 months of your bills may seem impossible, but I’ve found a way for anyone to do it. Renting-to-own has revealed a way for you to not only pay amounts that are manageable, but also get ahead in paying and place the service provided at your mercy. Lastly, the utility companies created budget billing to help ease your bill paying burden and if they can do this, what could you do if you implemented it on your own? All this and more will be discussed further in our next installments.