Can you pay my bills? / Can you pay my telephone bills? / Do you pay my automo’ bills? / If you did then maybe we could chill ~ Destiny’s Child “Bills, Bills, Bills”
I feel like I’m living in a Destiny’s Child song from 1999! Having quit any sort of paying job, what’s really starting to sink in the most (even more than thinking about looking for a new job) is that I literally cannot pay for anything anymore. Well, not exactly true; I do have savings, but that’s not operating cashflow for everyday expenditures! So I can’t pay for ongoing expenses and entertainment and shopping I should say.
It’s really weird and hard to start relying on Mark to pay for EVERYTHING! We used to take turns paying for dinners out, groceries, cab rides and most other things. I paid the BGE and water bills, and he paid Comcast. Now I’m not even bringing my credit card to dinner because what’s the point?
We even split our furniture. I bought our deck furniture…and Mark bought everything else 🙂
Well, I DO own all of our artwork (obviously the important and necessary things in life) and some furniture that I brought with me from home. So if we ever broke up, I wouldn’t have a couch, but I would have some paintings from which I could make a wooden bench?!?
I haven’t been totally reliant on anyone since living off of my parents in college – and that was just a normal extension of growing up and the status quo…And when $150/month in spending money could get you groceries, dinners at Chipotle, a pair of new shoes on sale at J. Crew.com and a case of beer to keep in the fridge because when you go out, other people will buy you beer. What a rude awakening moving out of College Park to find that beer is actually more than $1/bottle at the bar and it isn’t quite as easy to get strangers to purchase it for you – not cool!!
But this now is an active change in my behavior, whereas that was just the norm. Strange to no longer whip out my credit card for food and no longer cut checks for bills.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still charging things on my credit card, but I’m not yet used to the fact that I won’t actually be shelling out any cash for these items when the credit card bill comes. And come it has….sitting in my inbox waiting for me to click “Make Payment.”
I haven’t sat down with Mark and figured out how he’s actually going to pay my credit cards. I have it set up so that I go in and pay it from my linked checking account now. Do I unlink my account and link up his? Do I still go into my account each month and send the payment, but just from his account? Do we set up auto-debit from his checking account to pay? And what about the fact that now I’ve gone from one credit card to two cards: a Nordstrom Visa that I’ve had forever, and a Delta Amex on which we can accumulate Delta miles – helpful since Detroit is a Delta hub. I just received my first statement email from Amex and I’m not even sure I remember the password to log into the account! I would love to cut it back down to one card, but I’ve already found that one Amex can’t suffice in world where a lot of companies still prefer Visa or MasterCard.
And what about general shopping? I don’t think I’m a huge spendthrift and I typically weigh my purchases in advance, but what if there’s just a random shirt or dress I want one day? I know Mark would say “It’s fine, it’s fine, whatever you want,” which is lovely music to my ears, but it’s still very odd to me to spend his money on randomness and doesn’t quite seem right.
Since I’ve been working, I’ve been reliant on myself, and if I wanted a shirt or a dress, I thought about if I could afford it, and if I reeeeeeallllly wanted it, and if so, then went ahead and purchased it. Now I feel like there’s a second layer of “really-needing-really-wanting-is-it-useful?”-ness.
Married friends keep telling me it’s fine and all money becomes “our” money sooner or later and it’s normal. I’m sure that’s true, and I hope I’m just in a transition phase where the actual changing of habits is what’s making me feel weird.
Either way, I’m sure I won’t be unemployed forever and I’ll be back to my normal shopping habits in no time. And until then, thank you Mark 🙂 xoxoxo