14 February 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills. Pay my internet bills, pay my...

Now that I have like, a set income that like, I get every two weeks to like, buy things, I also have set bills that I like, have to pay, like, every few weeks. Until a few months ago, I had never in my life had a recurring online bank transfer. I didn't even know what it was when my roommate asked me to set one up to pay rent. The conversation went like this:

Cynthia: "You can just pay me quickly and easily online using online bill pay."

Me: "Oh cool! So easy! What's online bill pay?"

Cynthia: "It's a banking tool that allows you to set up regular transfers that just happen at pre-determined, scheduled dates and times. You just need BSB, account number, and so forth. The usual stuff."

Me: "Oh cool! What's BSB? I only know it as Backstreet Boys."

Cynthia: "Um, no, it's the bank code so they know where to send the money."

Me: "But they don't really "send" anything, do they. It's just zipping through computer land. I don't know, it seems weird."

Cynthia: "It's not weird. It's real life."

Me: "But what if there isn't enough money?"

Cynthia: "There will be, because you get paid the same day every other week."

Me: "Oh, right. I do. Like, every other week. All the time."

It's amazing how every other Thursday, I have money. I mean, I work for it but I always have always "worked" at something and never gotten this regular reward of cash-in-hand. It feels so foreign. What also feels foreign is how quickly it disappears. I didn't realize real people have so many bills. Some of them seem normal (like rent) then others are like, "why did I sign up for that?"

I gotta pay my rent bills. I gotta pay my cell phone bills. I gotta pay my internet bills. I gotta pay my yoga bills. I gotta pay them all every month. Like, EVERY month. All the time. Forever. So in turn, I gotta keep my job because I need the money to pay all the bills I have created for myself. It can all be rather stressful. AND, it seems like it's always time to pay the bills again. I'm constantly saying to myself, "I just paid that bill. They already want my money again?"

What's also stressful is the hidden costs and the horrific deal you seem to get as the consumer. The cell phone guy: "Okay, so that's $55 a month. Plus one time activation plus first month ahead plus bond plus tax plus human interaction fee plus the "you bought it on Tuesday" bonus bill plus the "unlimited options" limitation exemption fee so that comes to $832." There I am going, "but I just did the BSB and the Act and the recurring monthly transfer for $55 and it took me 2 hours to set up and I don't know how to undo it" and they're telling me "okay well, I'll have to tack on the wrong payment amount finders fee cross reference expense as outlined in bullet point 922 on page 213 written in size 6 font."

The real world is hard.


Kyle Taylor

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