The thought of paying bills and owing money to others can often be stressful, filling us with worry and anxiety, especially if money is scarce. Yet for most of us, bills must be paid each month, year over year, decade after decade. For me, regardless of how much money I have in my bank account, money has always been one of my biggest stressors. Even when we have the money to cover our financial obligations, I worry about having enough in savings or retirement.
Jesse and I are creating a debt-free life and have paid off our credit cards, car payments, and school loans, yet we still have a mortgage, cable bill, phone charges, and various expenses. There are also times when we encounter unexpected expenditures: veterinary bills for one of our four pets, medical expenses for one of the two humans in the house, home repairs for plumbing issues, etc. It’s these types of unexpected fees that often create a little more uneasiness.
Sadly, I can’t promise you that paying bills will ever be fun (if you figure out how to change that, please let me know). But like many things in life, we have the control to change our mindset and focus on the positive by creating specific physical and mental environments to help us feel calm and more content even when paying bills.
Here are 3 helpful tips to create a peaceful ritual at bill payment time:
1. Pick a relaxing place in your house somewhere other than the bedroom (never pay bills in the bedroom). Make sure the room or space you selected is tidy. Whether you pay your bills in the kitchen or in your home office, the dining table must be clear of clutter or your desk should be neatly organized, so that you don’t feel crammed, overwhelmed, or distracted by items in the immediate vicinity.
2. In the same room, light a scented candle and/or play soothing music in the background. Have you ever been to a day spa and immediately felt a sense of deep peace when you walked in? The scents and sounds are purposely crafted to provoke a relaxed physical and mental state. This is the effect you should strive for when creating your setting.
What scent makes you feel most relaxed? Is it lemon, gardenia, or pine trees?
What sounds instantly put you at peace? Is it an acoustic guitar, a favorite band, or crashing waves?
Beautifully scented candles are available at most grocery and home goods stores, and advanced technology now allows you to find your favorite sounds via countless sound apps.
3. As you sit down to write a check or make an electronic payment, start from a place of gratitude. Silently give thanks for the money in your bank account and for the services rendered. When you are paying your electrical bill, give thanks for the lights that illuminate your home in the dark. When paying medical bills, give thanks for your health. When paying your phone bill, give thanks for the lovely conversations shared with a family member or friend.
Give it a try.
The next time you sit down to pay bills: organize your surroundings, light a candle, play soothing sounds, and give thanks for the good each invoice represents.
After a few months, of doing this you will associate paying bills with a sense of tranquility and gratefulness.
Wishing you peace, love, and adventure,