You know that feeling when you open your mailbox and just know it’s full of bills? Bills that fill you with a sense of dread. Maybe that’s a dated example. How about when you open your inbox on the first of the month to a long list of companies wanting your hard earned cash. It sucks right? Bills are the worst! It doesn’t have to feel that way though. It is possible to stop hating bills and make sure you’re appreciating the things you spend money on.

Why do we think like that though?

Sure, you might make a few foolish purchases here and there, but not always. Likely not even that often. I bet the majority of things you buy make you happy.

If the dread you feel when opening your credit card receipt is outweighing the good, you feel when swiping, you’re doing it wrong. It’s fixable though. You need to change your thinking and become more mindful of spending money.

This hasn’t always been something I’ve succeeded at. I have a bad history of making frivolous purchases:

  • That ill-fitting yellow cardigan that looked cute on the hanger in the grocery store
  • A romper (and that other romper)…I am NOT a girl who wears rompers.
  • My two-year subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine
  • A slap-chop

None of those are wins, and they all led had me feeling buyers remorse. Mistakes happen though and there’s not much you can do but look forward and try to be better.

Make Every Payment Count

We’re not striving for perfection here. We’re talking small steps in the right direction to eliminate that sense of dread you’re feeling at the sight of your bills. I’ve said that it’s all about making mindful purchases, so how exactly do you follow that guideline? I have a couple of suggestions that have worked for me…

Remove the Temptation

My self-control sucks. If there’s chocolate in the house you can bet I’m going to eat it, motivating myself to workout is a constant battle, and an email promoting a tempting clearance sale at my favourite store will always get opened. I know this about myself, and recognizing that means it’s a simpler fix. You know what they say, ‘out of sight, out of mind’, well it works. To stop myself binging on chocolate, I need to keep it out of the house and to stop myself buying things I don’t need I have to get off those mailing lists.

Take an hour to do the good old email purge stop all those promotion emails from hitting your inbox. Either go through your inbox and trash folder and start unsubscribing, or use a service to help you out. I used Unroll.Me for the first time a few weeks ago and it’s fast, free, and simple. Basically the trifecta awesome when it comes to an online service.

Online shopping is the challenge for me, but if you’re more of an in-person shopper, you can still use similar strategies. Don’t fill your time with mindless shopping, find something more productive to do. Pick up a good book (from the library), take your dog for a walk, or start a new hobby. There are YouTube tutorials for everything you could ever dream of; I taught myself how to crochet from YouTube.

Switch to Cash

One way to stop dreading that credit card bill is to make sure you don’t get one. Making all your purchases with cash throughout the month means you’ll be in the black and can skip the whole bill part.

I don’t always advocate for a cash budget (I like those credit card rewards), but it can help to reign in your spending and make you think about where your money is going. There’s something powerful about handing over a bill as opposed to swiping a piece of plastic.

Reduce Your Existing Bills

A little bit of time and negotiation prowess can save you a ton of money in the long run. Making an annual call to your various service providers to see what kind of discounts they can offer you is well worth it. If they’re not willing to work with you on a lower rate then there’s always other companies out there who will be more than happy to take your business.

Do some research on competitors prices and know what you’re getting charged for. There’s a good chance you might be paying for services you don’t even need. Long-distance minutes you never use, TV channels you never watch, or the highest internet speed when you’d be fine with slightly slower. If you’re successful in reducing a few of your monthly bills, then you won’t dread them as much when they show up.

Glass Half Full

A little positive attitude can go a long way when it comes towards your bills. I can guarantee that as much as you hate paying for things, you would hate it a hell of a lot more if you went without. I know personally, some of my most despised bills are the ones that provide me with essential services…

  • Power / Gas / Water – Paying for utilities is pretty much the worst, but how miserable would you be if you didn’t have heat, couldn’t cook dinner, or weren’t able to take a shower. Feel free to negotiate with your service providers to get yourself the very best rate. But don’t forget how important those services are when the bill arrives.
  • Cell phones and wireless plans – Things are starting to change (slowly), but Canada is known for having ridiculously high rates for cell phone plans. It sucks, and I certainly don’t recommend buying the latest, greatest phone as soon as it hits the market. But let’s be honest. The cost per use on your phone is probably one of the lowest out of all your possessions. I bet I pick up my phone at least 100 times per day, either for necessity or entertainment. And that’s a complete guess; I wouldn’t be surprised if it were higher.
  • Insurance – Ugh, insurance payments have to be the absolute worst right? You get nothing out of them unless something shitty happens. There’s a reason it’s illegal to not have auto insurance; nobody would ever pay for it if it weren’t the law. However, if you’ve ever been in a car accident, suffered a debilitating injury, or had a spouse pass away, you understand how essential insurance can be.

Those are just three examples of common things you likely hate paying for but wouldn’t want to live without. If you do find you have payments that you can’t put a positive spin on, then you should get rid of them if at all possible. Every dollar you spend should be on something that makes either your current or your future self happy. 

Do you often feel cheated when paying your bills? What tips do you have to remove that feeling of dread?

Paying your bills can be the worst? But it doesn't have to be. Find out my tips on switching your bill paying mindset to the positive.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

Image Credit: SarahRichterArt


  1. I’m the same with chocolate. At this very moment there’s some in this house that I forced Mr. Groovy to hide.

    You make some awesome points about changing your perspective.

    I try to think about insurance this way — if you’re complaining because your payments are high for insurance you don’t use, be thankful you’re lucky enough that you don’t need to use it. Still, comparison shop to make sure you’re not being overcharged.

    • Sarah Reply

      Shopping around to get the best rates is so helpful and can save you a ton of money over the long term.

      I think if I made my partner hide chocolate it would end up in a fight when he wouldn’t tell me where it was…I get crazy about my chocolate 😉

  2. “To stop myself binging on chocolate, I need to keep it out of the house and to stop myself buying things I don’t need I have to get off those mailing lists.”

    Excellent advice, Sarah. As Hannibal Lector said to Agent Starling: “We covet what we see.” As long as you don’t see things in the house, in your email, or on your television (drop cable, damn it), you won’t be tempted to overeat and overspend.

  3. Sarah Reply

    Thanks Mr. Groovy!

    Keeping things out of sight works well for me, I’m not always known for my self-control. We have been so close to dropping cable but haven’t followed through yet. There needs to be a better alternative for watching sports, which is a big deal in this house. There have been a few services pop up here in Canada but they’re still too expensive to justify the limited services.

    • Sarah Reply

      Purging my email has really made a difference in my spending. I don’t necessarily go looking for deals but when they come to me I have a hard time resisting.

      Isn’t he though?! I couldn’t resist using that picture for this post, he just looks like he’s feeling down about bills. Thanks for stopping by Amy 🙂

  4. I’m an odd person because I actually enjoy paying bills… It makes me feel as if I’m actually an adult and responsible. Of course, everyone knows I’m completely not an adult or responsible (at the young age of 33!)

    • Sarah Reply

      I really like that perspective, anything to make us feel responsible 😉 Thanks for stopping by Joe.

    • Sarah Reply

      Thanks Carol! Breaking things down into CPU definitely helps with justifying the cost.

  5. a romper (and that other romper) – hahaha, I can totally relate! And I have to admit that somehow I’m still like a kid about checking the mail. I have a weird optimism every time I open the mailbox that something good and special for me will be waiting for me. Nope, always just BILLS!

    • Sarah Reply

      I’m kind of like that too, I love getting mail. There just isn’t enough of the good kind!

      The romper problem is real 😆

  6. You make a fantastic point: paying for bills means we get awesome luxuries like electricty, running water, and a way to communicate on the tiny supercomputers we keep in our pockets!

    Yes on the chocolate. And many other tasty things I either don’t buy or buy knowing I’m going to consume it in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

    • Sarah Reply

      I don’t know where I would be without my tiny supercomputer, but it’s still one of the bills that makes me the most annoyed.

      Thanks for stopping by Erin 🙂

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.