There were a couple months this summer when we were hit with a crazy-high electricity bill. At the time we were living on one salary with four mouths to feed, daycare expenses, and well, life expenses.
$500 a month hurt.
But as I was brainstorming for a class project, I realized that $500 bill, no matter how painful, was something to be thankful for.
$500 a month. That less than $20 a day powered our AC, enabling our comfort. It lit our reading lights, enabling bedtime stories. It charged our phones, enabling FaceTime with long-distance relatives.
It enabled iPhone documentation of the kids’ adorableness.
It enabled me to work from home, launching Project More Happy.
It enabled Eric to bake homemade bread every week.
It enabled music to fill the house during evening playtime.
So yes, $500 a month hurt. But it was worth it because it enabled thousands of moments of happiness.
How to more happily pay your bills -
Be grateful. The next time you’re looking through finances or paying bills, take a moment to reflect on what that money gave you. Focus on the joy instead of the dollar signs.
Have perspective. Imagine what your life would be like without the service altogether. If you can’t see the value, ditch the services.
Be mindful. When bills are set to auto-pay, the money goes without an appreciation of its value. If you’re like us, you depend on auto-pay to remember to pay everyone. Do what works, but take a few minutes each month to mindfully go over your finances.
Your hard-earned money should be spent enabling happiness. Electricity, gas, water, trash, phone bills, Internet - all these services have the potential to enable happiness. You just have to stop and appreciate the value they have in your life.