Five Financial Problems We Struggle With

Given all of the things I write about on The Simple Dollar, some people tend to assume that all of this just comes easy for me and my family. To put it simply, it doesn’t. Just like everyone else, we struggle with decisions at times and find ourselves flailing at things that seem easy on paper.

Here are five things we struggle with.

Clutter / Keeping Too Much Stuff

I’m a collector of things that are important to me now, but I have no problem letting go of collections that I’ve grown away from. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t collect as much, but she’s very sentimental about the things she has collected.

As a result, we run into problems where one closet in the basement is full of board games I’ve picked up at various sales, crowding out her box of She-Ra toys from her childhood that she keeps for sentimental reasons. A corner of our garage is devoted to several tubs full of “sentimental” items of hers that she rarely looks at but gets upset at the scarcest mention of tossing out or selling. Our son somewhat follows in his mother’s footsteps here, as the thought of getting rid of some of his most favorite toys freom his early childhood makes him very upset.

As a result, we simply accumulate too much stuff over time. On occasion, I go on large purgings of this stuff, usually with her blessing and a few rules as to what not to touch. Still, my feeling is that we have far too much stuff accumulated here and there throughout our home.

Assigning Tasks

My wife prefers to pay bills with a checkbook by looking at the statement, writing the check, and sending it in. I prefer to do that all electronically.

The end result is that several times a year, we both pay the same bill. She’ll pay the cell phone bill by check, while I’ll pay it electronically, and the next month we have a bill with almost a zero balance on it.

While this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, it does mean that we’re losing interest on that money during the “extra” month and it also means that we could communicate better when it comes to such bill paying and basic planning.

Event Planning

Again, this is another “digital versus analog” conflict. My wife puts all engagements and appointments on a paper calendar in the kitchen. I do all of my calendaring on Google Calendar. This means that we need to sync the calendars on a fairly regular basis.

When that doesn’t happen, of course, there are problems. “You didn’t check the calendar? Today’s the day you’re supposed to pack a vegetarian sack lunch for Joe!” “Didn’t you see? I have a teleconference today at 2!”

Of course, the real solution is probably about two or three years down the road – a digital kitchen calendar that syncs with Google Calendar. I’ll be early in line for one of those.

Limits of Spending Choices

My wife and I are both strongly on board with spending less than we earn and, on the whole, we do a good job at achieving that goal. Of course, we each have different ideas on what some of the better choices on the fringe of frugality are.

My wife, for example, tends to be very picky about cleaning supplies, whereas I’m happy to clean with vinegar and baking soda. On the other hand, I’m very particular about the food we eat – I’ll choose organic milk, while she’ll choose the cheap milk.

If we were on the same page on these issues, we would probably save a lot more money than we do. But, since neither one of us spends money in any outrageous fashion, we let the other one have their way on buying decisions like these.

Long-Term Investing Risk

Sarah is far more risk-averse than I am. We’ve known this for years, but it really came up recently when we both took a quiz identifying what sort of investments our retirement savings should be in.

My investments suggested 95% of the money should be in stocks, with a good portion of that in foreign and developing country stock and in small cap stock. My wife? 40% stock, 30% bonds, 5% real estate, 25% cash. She’s thirty years old.

What we’ve done so far is to put her retirement savings in a portfolio that matches her risk and put my retirement savings in a portfolio that matches mine. Of course, since we’re tied together, that does mean that she’s exposed to more risk than she’d like and I’m more conservative than I’d like, but it’s worked fine so far – even through the 2008 bear market.

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  1. I’m a He-Man guy myself but over time I have been able to purge my collection except for the few resin statues that are literally works of art. I’m happy with my decision to get rid of them and I still have fond memories of my Saturday mornings watching He-Man & the Masters of the Universe in my underwear, playing with my Skeletor and Orko action figures.

    AH! The good ole days! :)

  2. Leah says:

    With the kitchen calendar, I’d say you can write stuff in Google Cal but should just get on board with your wife’s deal. It is super convenient to have a calendar you can see at a glance, even if there’s a power outage or computer issue. You can still write stuff in google calendar, but get in the habit of marking new items somehow and writing them down on the big calendar. If you keep a daily to do list (or can start one on each day in google calendar), just write the date of any new item on your daily list to jog your memory.

    In terms of bills, why not split them and have a list of who pays what? OR, make a spreadsheet that you can hang up in a common area. Have a row for each bill, and each column can be the month (or week) in which the bill gets paid. Something as simple as “cable” by “April.” Then, when someone pays the April cable bill (online or check), they put an initial or checkmark in there. I did this with roommates (well, we put the amount in so we could split the totals up), and it worked well.

  3. friend says:

    That’s exactly how my spouse and I do our retirement. We have joint checking, savings, etc., but we each invest for retirement in line with our own risk tolerance.

  4. Peggy says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure how the first three are actually financial problems.

    Even if you went into debt to acquire the stuff you sometimes consider clutter, keeping it is not that much of a financial problem, it seems to me. Oh, sure, you could sell it and apply that money to paying down the debt if you chose (though you likely wouldn’t get much for most stuff, at least in my experience) — but just KEEPING clutter isn’t a financial problem, IMO.

    The second two issues are communication issues more than financial issues — even if on occasion a miscommunication results in a minor “mistake.” Frankly, given the abysmal interest rates these days, I’m not sure losing a penny or two of interest by paying a bill early can really count as a mistake.

    None of this is to suggest that these aren’t real issues for Trent and Sarah. It is to wonder whether the word “financial” should’ve been left out of the title of the post.

  5. Matt says:

    I have the same digital vs analog problem with my fiancée, a solution to the calendar problem could be the iPad, it’s worked so far for us.

  6. Wow, this could be a post at my site. We’re both frugal, and my wife, like yours, is more pencil and paper, check writing driven…

    So far, it’s a combination that works well for us financially, because we take the best from both of us and make winning decisions!

  7. Maria says:

    I hardly think one box of She-ra toys is getting your family on Hoarders.

    Perhaps she could say the same of an entire closet of board games.

  8. Debbie M says:

    On the bill paying – you could e-mail her the receipt you get when you pay online so she knows to take the paper bill and file it without paying. And when she pays, you probably see that online except for a couple-day window when the check’s in the mail. Maybe you could have her e-mail you a “receipt” when she pays a bill with a check.

    On different retirement strategies – I do the same thing. I’m the risk averse one, though I’ve had all stocks until fairly recently because I’m more afraid of inflation than stock market cycles. (New goal: 40% US stocks (half small-cap), 30% international (1/3 developing), 20% bonds (half inflation-indexed), 10% real estate–plus a pension and paid-off house–I’m retiring in 5 years.) Still, I’m all about the index funds and my SO is all about stock picking, so we just each take care of our own.

  9. Nicole says:

    I hate these posts where it sounds like you’re complaining about your wife instead of talking with her and coming up with solutions first. Maybe you do talk with her first in a non-confrontational manner, but these posts always come off as passive-aggressive and holier-than-thou.

    The last part with the retirement funds sounded nice and evenly balanced– the post about HER stuff cluttering the basement set my teeth on edge.

  10. Barb says:

    Ill simply suggest that one person should be responsible for the day to day finances, period. Doesnt matter who it is, generally whoevers happiest (or less unhappy) doing it. That person should pay all the bills, collect all the receipts and so on and so forth. the long terms goals and planning should be a joint decision. But having two people doing the basic record keeping is a recipe for disaster.

    I’ll agree with previous posters that no, I would not consider clutter or canlendar keeping financial issues (unless you have to get a storage unit or something), and yes, whether you mean it to or not, your posts really do sound like you are blaming her for the clutter problem, rather than it being a family problem.

  11. Marie says:

    When we pay a bill electronically, we write on the bill (in the box to write in the amount paid) EFT. So if the other person (or the same person who should really be in bed) finds the bill laying around (although it is supposed to be filed immediately after paying), we can tell it has already been paid. Alternatively, if we write a check, we tear off that part of the bill to send back and write the check # on the remainder.

    As for the calendar – our paper calendar hangs above our shared computer – an advantage of not having a home office.

  12. Henry says:

    Why would you and your wife both pay the same bill in a month? Why would she pay any bills at all? You are the ‘financial genius’ and all you do is sit on your ass while she works. You can’t take time away from putting enough words together to fill out another amazing post (really folks, where does this stuff come from?) to make a few clicks and pay those bills?
    Why isn’t the billing automatic? Isn’t your time worth enough to you to just do automatic bill pay? Come on, all that time you and your wife spend double-paying bills could be spent on boiling down maple syrup or washing out paper towels and hanging them to dry.

    It’s me, it’s me, it’s Ernest T.!

  13. Henry says:

    Why would you and your wife both pay the same bill in a month? Why would she pay any bills at all? You are the ‘financial genius’ and all you do is sit on your ass while she works. You can’t take time away from putting enough words together to fill out another amazing post (really folks, where does this stuff come from?) to make a few clicks and pay those bills?
    Why isn’t the billing automatic? Isn’t your time worth enough to you to just do automatic bill pay? Come on, all that time you and your wife spend double-paying bills could be spent on boiling down maple syrup or washing out paper towels and hanging them to dry.

  14. Matt says:

    He says it’s his stuff too… specifically mentions the board games and repeatedly says “we” through out the entire post, I really don’t think he was complaining.

  15. PK says:

    @#7 Nicole: While I do agree some posts seem to be a way of chronicling spousal loggerheads with maybe a biased POV, I don’t think this particular post fits the bill. I don’t get the feeling at ALL that this was a way of complaining — merely documenting the differences, and the problems that may arise from them. I thought it was a pretty unbiased way of describing them, actually.

    While I also have to agree that some seem to be more intrinsically communication problems rather than financial problems, it was still an interesting read!

  16. Two years ago I suggested we start using google calendar and my husband poo-pooed it.
    Last month he had a great idea- why don’t we create a family calendar on google!
    I’m sorry, but I just had to get that out!

  17. katie says:

    Maybe you two would benefit from just deciding who will be responsible for paying which bill. Trent could pay the electric, Sarah the phone, etc.

  18. What? You can clean with baking soda and vinegar? Who knew the things you would learn on a finance site.

    My wife and I use Microsoft Money to keep track of our bills. Trent, maybe you could try something similar. Then your payments would always be logged there regardless of which one of you paid the bill.

  19. Maureen says:

    Presuming that you get a paper copy of the bills mailed to you, the person who pays the bill should simply write “PAID” and the date (or cheque no. or confirmation no.) on the bill. That way the other person won’t pay it a second time.

    I’m all for a large paper calendar in a central area of the house. Think of it as a ‘family master plan’. This becomes increasingly important as your family gets older and your commitments grow. Everyone will need access to it.

  20. Patty says:

    #3 Peggy. Clutter does cost something financially as it takes up space and space rented or owned is one of the biggest costs people have. Keeping the clutter requires keeping a larger home to store it or maybe you’ve seen how many storage unit facilities there are in America that cost additional monthly rent. The ‘clutter’ is also possibly taking the space that other items that save or make money could be in (like renting out your closet to hold someone elses clutter). If it is truely valuable to the owner then its not necessarily clutter.
    I understand the mis-communication examples. My husband and I have accidently both fed the dog similarly to both paying the same bill. We’re working on our financial communication but then I feel like I’m talking about money 24/7 (its become a hobby to me) but I don’t want to rub the subject raw.
    I find it interesting that you said you would save money if you got on the same page about sending choices. It could just as easily cost more.

  21. Patty says:

    #3 Peggy Also, when clutter is unorganized it creates another financial risk…when one buys things they already own because they forgot/can’t find it.

  22. almost there says:

    So Trent, why not keep a tally on all the bills that were paid early for a year and calculate the exact interest lost to the day for the entire amount. And then calculate the value after state and federal taxes are paid on the amount. Like #3 Peggy said, the interest low so the earnings are minimal at best. I know, I know, I saw the Mary Poppins movie when it came out and can appreciate the value of a tuppence invested, and for those that haven’t enjoyed the movie ..Mr. Dawes Sr, Mr. Banks and Bankers:

    If you invest your tuppence
    Wisely in the bank
    Safe and sound
    Soon that tuppence,
    Safely invested in the bank,
    Will compound
    And you’ll achieve that sense of conquest
    As your affluence expands
    In the hands of the directors
    Who invest as propriety demands
    You see, Michael, you’ll be part of
    Railways through Africa
    Dams across the Nile
    Fleets of ocean greyhounds
    Majestic, self-amortizing canals
    Plantations of ripening tea
    All from tuppence, prudently
    Fruitfully, frugally invested
    In the, to be specific,
    In the Dawes, Tomes
    Mousely, Grubbs
    Fidelity Fiduciary Bank!
    Now, Michael,
    When you deposit tuppence in a bank account
    Soon you’ll see
    That it blooms into credit of a generous amount
    Semiannually
    And you’ll achieve that sense of stature
    As your influence expands
    To the high financial strata
    That established credit now commands
    You can purchase first and second trust deeds
    Think of the foreclosures!
    Bonds! Chattels! Dividends! Shares!
    Bankruptcies! Debtor sales!
    Opportunities!
    All manner of private enterprise!
    Shipyards! The mercantile!
    Collieries! Tanneries!
    Incorporations! Amalgamations! Banks!
    You see, Michael
    Tuppence, patiently, cautiously trustingly invested
    In the, to be specific,
    In the Dawes, Tomes
    Mousely, Grubbs
    Fidelity Fiduciary Bank!

    I would wager that you save more paying electonically than the cost of postage that your wife spends mailing in bill payments than the earnings lost by duplicate payments. Just my tuppence.

  23. Bill says:

    @Peggy/#3: I think the first 3 items are worthy in a financial discussion. Finance and organizational behaviors are highly dependent between each other.

    While Trent’s organizational examples may not appear to have significant financial impact, even small lapses can cascade to major financial consequences. For example, years ago my wife & I had a simple communication/planning lapse that caused a lot of time and $$ during tax time.

    I echo Patty’s sentiment about clutter (I have been bitten by #13 on more than one occasion). While the topic can be a bit controversial, I know more than a few that upgraded homes during real-estate boom for sake of more room for their “stuff”. I argue that not keeping tight reign over one’s asset inventory tends to align to poor financial choices later on…

  24. Jules says:

    Re: the calendar? iPad :-)

  25. michael bash says:

    Beyond the sentimental which is personal/irrational and Objets d’art, here’s a good rule for stuff. If you don’t use it at least once a year, you don’t need it and should get rid of it. Thus you can keep your Xmas decorations.

  26. To this list, I would also add, staying organized. Or improving organization.

    I think there is a direct correlation between staying organized and saving money.
    I constantly see examples of this in my own life (and I am already a pretty well-organized person) where if I improve my organization, I can save more money.

    Keeping better track of receipts, remembering to file stuff on time, etc.

  27. J says:

    We both use Google calendar and it’s amazing. Beyond just the basic calendaring stuff, which the paper calendar can do, you get the ability to search, make recurring appointments, set reminders, etc. Also, the calendar is always synced and you can access it from anywhere with a web browser. Google calendar also can’t be destroyed by little kids seeking to turn it into an art project, either. You can also have it sync with Outlook, Blackberry, iPod, iPhone, etc.

    I would also concur that her retirement portfolio is too conservative for her age. It might be more appropriate when she is 45 or 50!

  28. It’s funny to read about couples sharing bill paying. I’ve always been in an arrangement where we keep things separate. Separate checking, cell phones, savings, etc. I can’t tell you how this non combined monetary approach helps us. Our children are grown so it’s just us now. I like being independent of my partner’s spending habits.
    Not saying this is right for everyone, but it sure works for us.

  29. BARB says:

    My Daughter lost $39,000 of her retirement savings in ROTH and IRA accounts in 2008 – 2009. My sister lost $50,000 in her money market accounts. Neither has gotten all that money lost back. Both had been happy w/the high interest rates in previous years. I stuck with my 2% -3% interest in plain old savings account…and lost $0.

  30. Johanna says:

    Back in the days before online bill paying (or at least, before it was available to me), I used to prepay my phone bill by several months on purpose. (So if my typical bill was $20, I might pay $100 at a time, and then get a negative bill for the next 3-4 months.) I figured that whatever interest or other benefits I lost by not having the money in my account was more than made up for by the fact that I used fewer stamps, wrote fewer checks (those cost money too), and spent less time thinking about my phone bill.

  31. Courtney says:

    I was going to suggest Maureen’s point about writing bills as ‘paid’ but if you’re just logging in and paying the bill off the screen that won’t help. Presumably though, you are entering the bill payment in some check register? If you both are, then it should be trivial to look at the register before one pays the bill – you should have it in front of you anyways so that you can enter the payment when you log on. If you’re not keeping any sort of register, that sounds like the potential for problem #6.

  32. Shevy says:

    I’m writing to tell you to leave Sarah’s SheRa dolls alone as several of my childhood Barbie dolls sit beside me. Why are they here? Because yesterday afternoon my 7 yo daughter got them out and wanted us to play with them.

    We were talking about the Skipper doll and she was very impressed when I told her I got it as a gift when I was exactly her age (over 4 decades ago)!

    I may not play with them regularly anymore (that would be a little strange, I agree) but I’m never getting rid of them or the 2 black patent cases, one for the dolls, the other for their clothes. Playing with them with my children (something I already did with my 28 yo daughter and which she’s now doing with her Jem dolls and her own kids) is a very special pleasure.

    OTOH, I gave a huge box of HeMan & SheRa toys to the daycare my (adult) kids attended when they tired of them back in the 80s. (Sorry, Sarah!) But what’s important is that each person keeps what matters to *them*, not their spouse or someone else. I try to bear that in mind when my hubby adds to his jersey collection (80 at my last count) or to his hats (more than there are jerseys).

  33. et says:

    Most regularly recurring bills (utilities, cell phone, etc) that you’re going to pay in full anyway can be set up for autopay or automatic debit from your bank account. YOu can still receive paper bills if you want, but they will give you the date it will be automatically paid – & they usually don’t send an envelope; if not, you get an e-bill. With the online autopay feature, you get enough notice that you can review the bill & handle any issues.

    Additionally, if the incoming bills are just sorted by person responsible for paying, that should help, unless Trent is jumping the gun & paying some bills online before the paper one arrives! Which makes a good argument for assigning bill-paying to one person or making a specific split. My husband works at home too, and he pays all of his business-related bills, I pay the personal ones.

  34. Kim says:

    Second the idea for the autopay for eliminating duplication. We’ve used this for years for all our utilities – it works best for us.

  35. SZCZEBRZESZYN says:

    My wife is so risk-averse that she should have an apartment in a tunnel under Iron Mountain.

  36. Gretchen says:

    How much money are you actually losing by paying bills twice? I can’t imagine you are earning that much interest in any form of checking account.

    We split it here by each paying the same bills each month. I write the checks, he does the electronic transfers.

  37. Trent says:

    “Why isn’t the billing automatic? Isn’t your time worth enough to you to just do automatic bill pay?”

    Variable amount bills. It’s incredibly stupid to have a bill with a varying amount come directly out of your checking each month. Eyeballs should read those bills before they’re paid. If you pay automatically, you’re not checking for errors.

  38. Trent says:

    “Even if you went into debt to acquire the stuff you sometimes consider clutter, keeping it is not that much of a financial problem, it seems to me. Oh, sure, you could sell it and apply that money to paying down the debt if you chose (though you likely wouldn’t get much for most stuff, at least in my experience) — but just KEEPING clutter isn’t a financial problem, IMO.”

    The more stuff you have, the more space you have to have to contain all of it. Housing isn’t cheap.

  39. marta says:

    “It’s incredibly stupid to have a bill with a varying amount come directly out of your checking each month. Eyeballs should read those bills before they’re paid. If you pay automatically, you’re not checking for errors.”

    That is not necessarily true. I have got automatic debit for utilities and such myself and some bills vary a bit every month. This doesn’t mean I won’t check for errors as I still get the statements in advance (either e-bills or paper ones). So, no, it’s not incredibly stupid. Unlike double paying bills. ;)

  40. Steffie says:

    About people who keep ‘lots of stuff’ it has been shown in medical studies that their brains work differently from the people who can just get rid of stuff easily. And anyone who grew up with parents/family who lived through the Great Depression are automatically going to keep more than others just because. I am currently working very hard to declutter stuff in order to put ‘more important’ stuff in its place. Like a table saw to make a deck for my house. I can only do 15-20 minutes sometimes but it is making a difference. And what is wrong with keeping something from your childhood ? Maybe that is what she uses to wind down and get away from all the ‘grown-up’ stuff she deals with all day ? Is it any different from a fantasy baseball league ? Or whatever one uses to escape ?

  41. Jon says:

    “Variable amount bills. It’s incredibly stupid to have a bill with a varying amount come directly out of your checking each month. Eyeballs should read those bills before they’re paid. If you pay automatically, you’re not checking for errors.”

    How is that any more stupid than paying double for one bill?

    Plus who said anything about not looking at the bill? My variable bills come via email. I look at the amount/bill if needed and then know it will get paid automatically with no extra effort from me. Plus it won’t get double paid. Done!

  42. Brian says:

    I’ve decided that the calendar issue is the only reason I could justify an iPad. Mount that sucker to the wall and you’ve got a scrollable, pen-free, internet-synchronized, battery-backed, wall calendar.

    Oh, and it’ll allow you to search recipes or view cooking shows right in the kitchen.

  43. We are sentimental about old collections too…but my four year old daughter just discovered her dad’s Ghostbuster firehouse playset (complete with Ecto 1) and Mommy’s My Little Pony dream castle! It was worth keeping them around just for that.

  44. J says:

    “allow you to search recipes or view cooking shows right in the kitchen”

    Well, as long as those sites don’t use Flash, it will :)

    I dearly love my iTouch but the “lack of Flash because Steve Jobs doesn’t like it” is a real buzzkill sometimes and really detracts from an otherwise completely awesome piece of tech.

  45. SLCCOM says:

    Alternately, there is this old device, called a “cookbook,” which is a heck of a lot faster than watching a cooking show while cooking.

  46. Crystal says:

    We struggled with “fun” expenses until we set up separate fun money accounts. Now I can be as frugal/cheap as I want without being too annoyed at the $150 Curling shoes that my husband just bought with his fun money…

    I’d love to have problems with that second thing, “Assigning Tasks” but my husband is just not interested in our money on a daily basis, so I handle it all except for our Scottrade account. I hate researching stocks and he thinks it’s heaven…

  47. DOTTIE says:

    It was good to see you post on the comments Trent.
    I consider myself much more disciplined and more frugal than 10 years ago however we still have our problems also. Although my husband and I are much happier now being debt free. I have always been in charge of the bills and absolutely loathed it back in the day of manual check writing and would always put it off and put it off until I just had to do it, often resulting in many bills being a day or two late.
    I have to say God Bless online bill payment!! One of my husbands favorite stories is when we received a check from the electric company for $100.00 in 2001 and did not know what it was for. It was our deposit being returned after 11 years because I had finally made 12 consecutive payments with out being late(exactly 12 months after I started using online bill payments).Last time I checked our credit scores they were 812 and 802 and I am sure this is a direct result of online and automatic payments.

  48. lmoot says:

    “It’s incredibly stupid to have a bill with a varying amount come directly out of your checking each month. Eyeballs should read those bills before they’re paid. If you pay automatically, you’re not checking for errors.”

    Wow, I don’t know if I’m more offended that you’ve basically called every person that does auto pay with non-fixed bills is “incredibly stupid” or that you assume that we are not conscious enough to review the bills even WHEN WE GET THEM IN EMAIL OR THE MAIL WEEKS BEFORE THEY ARE BILLED. Honestly, I feel like this comment was based 100% on assumption instead of an iota of common sense. Since when are you not given an itemization at least days before a bill is due? Whether you pay online, auto pay check, or through the pony express on the back of a donkey…the only part of the billing process that is different is how it’s taken out. Personally, every bill that offers auto pay gets taken out of my credit card.

  49. Jackie says:

    I have all my bills on auto-pay. Just this month I discovered a mistake on my water bill. Because: 1. I still check the itemized bills when I get them in email or mail, and 2. I use MS Money for everything and it estimates the amount based on past bills and I can see the difference immediately if a new bill is remarkably higher or lower than usual. 3. Errors are not all that common, and when they do happen, they tend to be big and noticeable.

  50. Henry says:

    Yeah, auto bill payers are stupid, yet he’s the one with the household paying the same bill twice, and with enough frequency to be here bellyaching about the problem.

    You’d think the master of finance would have the ultimate credit card to auto-pay all of the bills with, and then pay one bill and earn rewards on it.

  51. Bert says:

    We just print google calendar at the beginning of the month and pin it on the fridge, if I add something digitally, i do my best to remember to also do it on our “dead-tree” calendar…

    And not to pay bills twice: I write a big OK on the bill if I payed it. I tend to do this in batches, usually when the oldest bill has to be payed today. If my girlfriend notices this she often pays it herself and marks it with “ok” too…

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