Lately I’ve been including Evie (age 8 ) and Mack (age almost 7) in bill paying. They are old enough to understand what money is and how it is earned, and now it is my job to help them appreciate what goes in to running a household. Someday they will have families of their own with bills that must be paid!
This month our electric bill was $120. That seems like a lot, especially for an eco-conscious household like ours. After showing the kids the bill, I gave them a friendly lecture about TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN THEY LEAVE A ROOM. I’ve been banging the drum on this for years to no avail. But, ever since showing them the electric bill they now turn the lights off and gladly tattle when someone leaves them on.
Today I wrote the check for the gas bill. $217! I called Mack and Evie to the kitchen. Immediately, they went on the defensive: “It is Dad’s fault for making so much tea on the stove! Blame Ben because he likes taking a bath!” I explained that I am happy to pay this bill: it means we have a warm house, cooked food, clean clothes, and a hot shower at the end of our busy days. Buuuuuut, there are always ways we can cut our use of this precious natural resource. Evie offered to change her shower routine – she’ll turn the water off while soaping up and shampooing, and turn it on to rinse off. I like her idea!
Eventually I’d like to move to paperless billing, but with six kids my time in front of the computer is very limited. I worry that I’d miss a bill! Plus, receiving a bill in the mail forces me to slow down and really analyze it, whereas with on-line bill pay I just click without thinking twice. So, for now we are sticking with old school paper.
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