When we think about the moment of slight anxiety or stress involved with sitting in a restaurant, you’re satiated from a great meal of great food and drinks, maybe you’re surrounded by friends and family on a special night together, in all that joy and happiness, you still have that thought in the back of your mind, “the bill always comes due.”
There is no way of avoiding it and you’re going to have to pay it, one way or another. It is an inevitability that we all must face and even when we try to push it out of our mind, that responsibility is there to provide lest we face any consequences that comes with not paying the bill.
While you are under the expectations that any food, drinks, or other service at a restaurant always will come at a cost, we as consumers try to not think about that at all to be here and now in the present to enjoy what we have ordered with the company that we keep. It is a key characteristic of human nature that we often avoid thinking about the future even when we do at present is likely to carry its own kind of consequences. I use ‘the bill coming due’ as an anecdote for how what we choose to do, how we act, what we focus on and prioritize, will lead to what kind of bill we end up paying in the future.
Just like you would not want to pay a restaurant bill you cannot afford by understanding your budget and what you can afford to order off the menu of that particular reasonably priced restaurant, we should be aware of the fact that there are other ‘bills’ that can come due in the future that can cost us more than we bargained for if we are not careful about it. What we do in the present can help us manage our bills and how we handle our future by dealing with it in a responsible and mature manner now.
Let’s think about our health and how we manage it as there will be some kind of ‘bill’ handed down to us as we get older. It can be a clean ‘bill’ of health as your physician or doctor will tell you if everything goes well or it can instead be an array of expensive tests, surgeries, or procedures that lead to a hefty medical ‘bill’ that will cost us dearly beyond what we can afford, even if you have some form of insurance. How do we avoid this kind of ugly ‘bill’ of health? Well, I won’t dive into specifics as I am not a medical physician but how you eat, if you exercise, whether you stay active in your daily life, can help us pay off that ‘bill’ in advance or make it that much smaller to manage in the long run. There are common sense ways to manage the ’bill’ of health as it will come due at some point, and you have a measure of control over it in the present to make sure it does not bankrupt you or cost you with your health in the future.
In a similar way, one’s ‘wealth’ and how you manage it in the present can help you pay the various ‘bills’ that come due on a monthly, yearly, or longer basis. When you use part of your paycheck and weekly or monthly earnings to pay down outstanding debt or to save up for an emergency or to help yourself learn an employable skill, you are making sure that you will be able to pay for any bill that can come due because you have accrued your wealth and investments in a way where you will never be broke from these ‘bills’ coming due.
If you make other choices instead where you spend every dollar you make and beyond that, get into debt with various bill collectors including the credit cards and other loans you have taken out, the bills that come due will be beyond your accrued means, and you may be struggling for the rest of your life to get out from the ‘bills’ coming due that you have to pay or face serious financial consequences.
You do not want your health, wealth, or ability to earn a living to suffer because you cannot handle both present and future bills to come. You should make sure to think of the future to save, invest, and earn for a ‘rainy day’ fund that can overcome an unforeseen or unexpected bill coming due. Again, I am not making any specific financial recommendations to you as I am neither a financial planner or investor, but I do want to impart some common sense and wisdom in how to avoid future ‘bills’ by planning to save and invest for the future in some measurable way so the bills coming due will be paid for entirely without any stress or anxiety.
Lastly, it is unfortunate where we live in a society where it can cost exorbitant amounts to educate oneself for the workforce and for financial success, indebting ourselves in the process. I believe education is worth investing in if you are able to afford the bills to come due, but if you are in a cycle where you can’t get out of accrued bills or debt because you went for higher or professional education, please make sure that the investment that you make in the present will help pay off the debt in the future. The worst thing to do is invest in an education that does not end up paying for itself later and help with all the bills coming due to that investment.
Make sure you focus on those employable skills or to be a subject matter expert or practitioner, in an important area that will pay off because you invested in your education in a useful area. I know of a lot of people who cannot get themselves out of a debt or pile of bills, even with their extra years of education, because what they learned what not useful for the job market, and now they are stuck with bills that will never be paid off.
I am not against the idea of paying for more education but please make sure it is aligned with your future career or business goals. If you are not sure of what you want to invest financially in an education, there are many free tools and videos that can help you understand better of what opportunities are out there. I think it’s important to think hard about what bills you want to take on for your education because it is no good to have a debt burden that will prevent you from future job or educational opportunities because you have bills coming due that you must sacrifice your ideal career or business for.
Whether it is health, wealth, or education, you will have to pay the bills that come due, even if they come at an unknown future date. Make sure you invest in each area within reason that you will be able to afford to do so without suffering later for bills or obligations that you took on that you found were beyond your capacity.
Do not sacrifice your future by what you do in the present. Make sure you practice good health habits, invest in your wealth accrual with whatever route that you find is best for your goals, and to reasonably access educational opportunities that can create excellent business or career opportunities that you will not have to sacrifice either your health or your wealth to achieve. Remember that the bill(s) always come due at the end, but that does not mean life should not be enjoyed or taken advantage of, but to do so in responsible manner, where your present is secured in each of these three areas, and as a result, your future is prosperous, healthy, and full of opportunities.