Tonight I’m happy to dream. I’ve discovered GetItKeepIt are running a competition…….and the prize? They’ll pay your bills for a year. Yes, that’s 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days. As I began feverishly calculating the cash I’d save, options for spending it started forming a rather disorderly queue in my mind. That image of a gleaming white beach which saunters, bold as brass, into my subconscious as I sleep, might yet become a reality. But a holiday is just one in a long list of things that now appear rather less fanciful. Or at least no more fanciful than the idea that France might lose in the first round of the World Cup.
Any misguided hope that keeping the competition to myself might improve my chances of winning was rapidly dashed when I saw that in fact the opposite holds true: I gain an extra entry myself for every friend I refer to the site who then registers with it. Clearly I needed to start making some calls. But until then, I was going to fully indulge in my fantasy of winning, so, cup of tea in hand, I spent a pleasant half hour musing on how I’d spend the money. I even made a list.
Because someone might just see it, the first items on the list are distinctly worthy. You know – put some money away for a rainy day, take your granny to dinner, pay off the credit card. I even thought of overpaying the mortgage for a bit. The idea that in one fell swoop I might reduce the capital and pay less interest is pretty appealing, but so too is the certainty that the banks would get less money into the bargain.
After that, the list took on a life of its own—a below-the-radar scoot to South Africa, a top-of-the-range drill, some designer “investment pieces” for my wardrobe. But as it grew longer, my breathing slowed and I began to wonder what it would really be like to have no bills for a year.
Just imagine. No more (well, for a year anyway) that all-too-familiar feeling of dread as you open the phone bill, gas bill, credit card bill…………… Now I could look forward to that gentle “swoosh” as my post journeyed from the postman’s bag to its landing strip on the hall carpet. It might be a postcard, an invite, even a letter. Hell, I might even drop what I’m doing to go and pick the post up, right then and there, rather than hope The Boyfriend will whisk it up on his way through to the garden with the bicycle.
No more trips to the post office/bank to pay bills I’ve been too lazy to set up online. No more queues, lunch hours wasted, or standing at ATMs wondering if that dodgy bloke behind me is trying to steal my PIN (for reasons quite unknown to me, this happens most often in Dun Laoghaire, where oddballs abound. Last week I turned from the ATM to find an incredibly well-dressed man carrying a cane and sporting a cape and fedora. Only when I walked past him did I see that the only thing he was carrying was a perfectly cling-wrapped iceberg lettuce).
But the best thing of all about no bills? The space it creates in my head to think about other things. I like to think I’d be less antsy, less worried, more relaxed. And let’s face it, that’s more fun for everyone.
Even if I don’t win – and I never win anything, tho that doesn’t stop me hoping – having my bills with GetItKeepIt has freed up more time than I thought possible. There have also been some other surprises – like the pleasure that comes from being able to willfully forget a dozen pin numbers, passwords and usernames, and swap them all for just a single set. I also feel magically more organised, more smug about using less paper, and the shelves have been denuded of a few file boxes, leaving more room for photos of me and The Boyfriend. And soon, if the gods are smiling on me, a photo from that longed-for exotic holiday.