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Paying Bills
Paying Bills

Learn English with this money English lesson

Date: Jan 16 2013

Themes: Time

Grammar: Simple Present Tense


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It’s a time of the month that no one looks forward to: bill-paying time! Between all the utilities, including electricity, heat, cell phone, land line, cable, Internet, and more, all those bills can sure add up!

Our modern world means not only more bills, it also means more ways of paying bills. You can write a check, pay online, or even pay with your phone. Some people prefer the old school method of paper and pen, while others prefer to do everything as virtually as possible. Learn how Vanessa and Jason prefer to deal with bills in this English lesson.




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Vanessa:  It’s that time of the month again! My bills are due.

Jason:  Oh yeah, I think I just got a final notice on one of my bills.

Vanessa:  A final notice? Are you kidding me?

Jason:  They just pile up. I don’t even open them half the time, you know?

Vanessa:  So you’re telling me that you don’t pay your bills when they arrive in the mail, you wait?

Jason:  You know, the ones I do pay are the ones that come online, because I can just hit a button, take money out of my account, it’s done. But the ones that come in the mail and I actually have to write a check…it’s like, oh my God, what year is it? Why do I have to pay this paper bill? This is insane.

Vanessa:  See, I’m the opposite. I like getting the paper thing in the mail that comes and it tells me when the bill is due, and I can keep my little receipt from it and file it away in my filing cabinet. So if there is ever a question, I can look it up and see the date and the check number that I paid the bill with.

Jason:  Woah, that’s old school. I just wish I had a bill paying app for my phone where I could do it in like one click.

Vanessa:  I guess that would be convenient but how would you keep track of things?

Jason:  I would just put my faith in technology.


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Vanessa tells Jason that it’s time for her to pay her bills. Jason says that he just got a final notice on one of his bills, meaning that if he doesn’t pay immediately, that service will be shut off.

Vanessa can’t believe that Jason is so irresponsible about bill paying. He’s better about paying his online bills on time, because all he has to do is press a button, but he just can’t get it together to do the paper bills. He feels as if paper bills are really old fashioned.

It’s the opposite for Vanessa. She likes the paper bills, because it’s easier for her to keep track of the hard copies. If Jason had the choice, he would just pay all his bills with his phone. He’s got lots of faith in technology.

Do you prefer to pay your bills by mail or electronically? Are you responsible or irresponsible about bill paying? Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill?



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Hong Kong

I hate pay bill for my cellphone…though the place is not far from my home but i just…How i wish i can pay for it one time with all year’s bill

01:49 PM Jan 21 2013 |


yuminagaSuper Member!


I prefer to pay online or with iPhone ,what year is it ? I hate the paper bill thouth ,i could pay it when they arrive in the mail. so I am sure i am not irresponsible about bill paying .doing something as vertually as possible is fun, just hit the botton ,it could be done ,what a amazing world! I also wish i had all the bill paying app for my cellphone where i can pay it in like one click.my dad prefer the old school method of paper and pen ,its fine becaues he has a plenty of time .

10:22 AM Jan 20 2013 |



I don’t like bill paying because I have no enough  money. I take my parents some money. I have ever forgotten it.

02:45 PM Jan 18 2013 |


yuminagaSuper Member!


I dont like bill paying its not because my could be gone away ,its about time .Thank you so much for science, I tend to pay by eletronically .

11:06 PM Jan 16 2013 |

1 person likes this




  Besides receiving  a Friday evening paycheck , paying my bills is the most relieving sensation,  it’s like coming to term with the fact that I’m  now broke but I owe no one : ) ..yes! . Ok not until next month ( sad trombone sound ) :/

   I’m much aware of the vulnerabilities that financial transactions can court, such as, unauthorized withdrawals that can leave your with a negative figure as balance (you think being broke is miserable, there’s nothing worse than owing on a negative sum : ), and lastly but the worst :Identity theft!.  You can always replace the money that you’ve been robbed of but cleaning up your name after being a victim of I.D. theft can be an enormous hurdle. Despite all of those potential threats I side with Jason on this debate, I take the leap of faith by opting to pay virtually all of my bills online :). But why? Because online bills payment has more perks than downsides if you take the appropriate measures of safety.

      I like paying for my bills electronically because it’s very convenient .So far none of the companies I deal with have ever charged me for online service fee, I just pay the amount that’s due nothing added or deducted, and I don’t have to sweat about postage fees and I can skip the train dances at the bank with my fellow bill payers:). I understand that some people like to hoard a lot of bill statements inked with the corresponding check numbers to validate their payments, but I don’t. I could use that space in my cabinet to stash my sugar cookies instead of collecting termite treats. I don’t know about you, but when I pay a bill electronically I get a confirmation page that has my transaction number, the date of my payment, the amount I paid and the remaining balance, the card number. It even displays when my next payment is due. What I do is that I use an application on my computer called Snipping Tool to capture that screen with all those information and save it as a picture, name it and route it to a file that I keep on my external hard drive. For future reference I can just print it out.  Simple!

     Also, I like the new ecological trends some institutions are embracing to reduce the paper use in order to keep our planet leafy :). Sometimes I would receive email notifications from those companies I dish out my hard-earned money to every month, inviting me to sign up for online bill statements and payments, so they can stop swamping me with letters at home.  I’m very supportive of that” green” ideology for one, and two,  I don’t like the prospect of having all my sensitive information floating around town on a mail truck, get missorted, and possibly land on the doorsteps of a psychopath,  so I never hesitate to enroll in any paperless  billing correspondence that I’m offered : )

      Earlier, I mentioned that there were measures of safety that one can take against online catastrophes like the ones I cited.  First thing to do if you’re considering on paying for your bills electronically is to make sure the financial institution that holds your debit card account, which you intend to make your payments with, doesn’t allow overdrafts to be made on the account under any circumstance, or per your request. (I would not suggest using a credit card. Your credit limit isn’t money that you own; it’s just a restriction on the amount of money that you’re allowed to owe).Anyway, Once you made sure of that, keep the funds on that account to a minimum (let’s say, enough to cover for your bills for the month) and if possible use it strictly for bill payments. That way, should your account get hacked, those lowly thieves can only get away with so much money that they can only use on a brand new headset :)

      Have I ever forgotten to pay a bill? Yes, I have and ironically it happened back when I used to snail mail my checks to pay for my bills.  One time, it took a letter more than 4 days to reach its destination which resulted in me being charged extra for a late fee. I spent an afternoon on the phone arguing with a representative of that billing company, at the end I was told that I should take my issues to the post office and cry them a river : ). That was it for me; never again did I try to mail my bills. I stay on top of my bills way better when I account of those transactions online, the money is instantly withdrawn from my account and goes straight to the company.

      Sometimes companies take forever to process the checks they receive, which I hate, that kind of puts my spending binges in limbo. Sometimes : ).

06:15 PM Jan 16 2013 |




I think that paying on-line is more convinent than running to bank.Y use it and pay in time.

04:38 PM Jan 16 2013 |




I prefer to pay my bills electronically through the online banking. It’s more convenient because I can pay the bills at any time and from anywhere. I don’t have the problem not to keep track of the copies since I have an online account at all of the utility companies and online stores so I always can see the old bills and details about them. In addition I can always print them in pdf and store them in my computer. Nevertheless I sometimes forget to pay the bills especially those which come from an online store because the bills don’t come regularly. For the utility companies such as electricitiy and heating, mobile, phone or internet, they all have direct debit authorisation but they always inform me about the amount they will charge off and I can see through my bills in my online accounts. So I think I can avoid to forget my bills and save time that way;)




Bella,   I couldn´t agree more,  thanks to breakthrough technology today we can  make use of gadgets  unthought  of  years ago, but all these come with a price tag  in the form of having to work more to pay  the monthly  cost  of its use. With the ups and down  of the world economy  is not always possible to foresee  if we can have a steady job along the line  and  be able to foot    the bills that the demanding  companies never forget  to send out to their customers.     

03:09 PM Jan 16 2013 |




frankly, i prefer just press a button to pay, i think i am responsible  about bill paying , i always pay my bills ahead or on time, forget to pay the bills means u r gonna be cut off from their services

02:20 PM Jan 16 2013 |



according to bills i prefer to pay some bills electronicaly and some manualy at bank. i’m a responsible person i think because i do care about the things like that. its always good to pay bills at time rather stay in the dog house due to disconection of utilities. its sad that todays bills topple our budget and makes our wallet void. many people after paying bills spend life on a shoe string its pathetic. how it would be if our world would be bill free….. we people ll enjoy all the luxuries without the bills.

12:31 PM Jan 16 2013 |




in fact , i don’t have to pay bill because i am a student now:)  so i just have to pay my phone bills and i prefer to pay it online because it is a bit cheaper and quick!:)

12:04 PM Jan 16 2013 |




Every month  bills are piling up  on my  table  waiting  that  I gain courage to put  my hand in my wallet ,take out the money  and go to the bank  with a sullen face ,thinking that I am only working  to pay  bills. In Argentina we have two deadlines, the second one is a little bit expensive  ,the risk is that if  you wait to the last day  ,you might forget or  it could happen that  the Electronic System  froze  and the next day is too late  ,you will have to go in person to the utility company or whatever. Line-ups then are inevitable-




I am just like Vanessa. Whether it is old school or not, I like getting the paper thing to see when the bill is due, and keep my receipt from it and file it away in my filing cabinet. In case of a problem, I take a look at the receipt saved in my cabinet, check the number and do what is necessary.

I sometimes, especially when I have no time, pay the bill of my credit card on the internet by transferring money from my bank account. That’s very practical but somehow I do not feel very comfortable as I get no receipt in my hand. I guess I just need a written document to show me that things are alright. I always take a safe step so concrete things like paper bills, and hard copies of them give me a feeling of safety. :)


11:12 AM Jan 16 2013 |



my house utility bills includes electricity ,gas, trash and water about 120 US$ per month. company will pay cellphone, landline and internet. i like pay it by internet

10:29 AM Jan 16 2013 |



United States

In my house financials are a constant discussion. Eventually I took over paying the bills a few months ago. My better half would always get so stressed out by the fact that the figures on those demand notes just had to be paid ;) 

09:16 AM Jan 16 2013 |




An answer to a forgotten bill could be: “Hello, I put all my bills in a pot. Each week I pull one out of these pot. So please be patient, until your bill is the winner” :)

But of course, it’s better and cheaper to pay asap. I prefer paying online.




It is cheaper to pay bills and invoices online. Cheaper and faster. In many cases there is a additional payment for paper invoice. So I rather want to do it by my online bank account.

07:13 AM Jan 16 2013 |



I prefer to pay my bills by electronically. I always forget to pay a bill, so I am irresponsible about bill paying. Why we have to keep track of the hard copies through paper bills. Instead, online bills are easier to be tracked.

06:53 AM Jan 16 2013 |



I normally prefer the physical mode of paying my bills.Because the office where i pay my bills is just a stone’s throw away.

06:44 AM Jan 16 2013 |




what he said in the last sentense make me laugh out lound haha

05:30 AM Jan 16 2013 |

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