Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Emergency Room Bill does NOT qualify as an emergency

I'm sorry, but a hospital bill for $800 from back in September when I had my staph infection does not qualify as an emergency that I'm going to drain 80% of my baby emergency fund for. Nope, not happening. I refuse to pay it, as you can see below:

Background: On a Friday in September, I started feeling what felt like zit on the inside of my nose, which was strange, because after being on Accutane for 8 months, I don't get zits anymore. By Monday, my whole nostril was red and swollen. So I went to my dermatologist. He said it was an infection of some sort, gave me an antibiotic and told me to come back on Wednesday if it wasnt getting better.

Well, by wednesday, it was NOT better. so I sent in to see him and he looked at it again and said that I needed to go to the ER to get IV antibiotics. The pill wasnt getting the medicine to my system fast enough.

Fair enough, I trust my doctors opinions. So I go. and I sit, and I wait in the waiting room. And finally they get me back there and the doctor takes one look at me, says "eh, it's a staph infection. you dont need an IV. We'll just double your dose of pills to knock it out and you'll be good to go."


Soooo, ER doc gave me a prescription for yet another pill and sent me home.

A couple of months ago, I got a notification from my insurance company that they had declined to pay the ER or Physicians bills for the hospital because their review of the situation determined that it was unnecessary for me to go to the ER. Well, sure. If I had known it was just going to be another pill, my dermatologist could have prescribed that. But HE wanted me to get an IV, and the ER had other plans. Therefore, since the hospital did not follow the recommendations of my dermatologist, which resulted in my insurance company declining the bill, who got stuck with it?

Yours truly.

How the hell was I supposed to know that would be the outcome? Thank you, health care industry. You suck. Oh wait, I haven't paid you yet. Aaaaaaand, I don't intend to. I'm gonna wait long enough that you'll be happy to get something out of me, and when I'm satisfied that it's low enough I'm willing to pay, or I'm abundantly rich and can afford it to make you go away, I'll pay it then. But for now? No way. Your screw up for not following doctors orders. I'm not using my $1000 emergency fund to pay for this, and I have other bills that are more important, and I need to save that money for a true emergency. It's just going to have to wait.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tax Withholdings and Interest Free Loans to the Government

If you are like most Americans, you are probably terrified of owing the government money during tax season. From the time I was 16 years old, it was ingrained in me that it was better to let the government take out the maximum amount, and hope for a huge refund at the end of the year.

Well, those days are over. I'm finally done giving the government so danged much of my paycheck. I need that money and I need it NOW.

According to The Motley Fool, the average American gets back a refund of almost $3000 a year. That's $250 a month you could be keeping for yourself and using as you see fit. If you're trying to get out of debt like we are, that $250 a month will go a LONG way.

I posted this on a message board recently, and was surprised by the FEAR of some who said they would much rather let the government take too much, rather than risk owing at the end of the year. Uh....what? First of all, you can easily calculate about what your tax liability is going to be for the year. But even if you aren't convinced, you could open a high interest savings account, change your deductions, and sock away that $250 per month to earn compound interest for the year. One, you'd have all that interest built up, but two, you wouldn't have to wait for a refund because it would already be in your account to use, and THREE, even if you miscalculated, and you did owe the government any money, it wouldn't MATTER because you had set the money aside to pay them back! The fear is simply unnecessary.

Check out this calculator. You type in your gross pay, and your current withholding, and what your withholding would be if you changed it. Based on the amount of taxes that were withheld last year, and the amount of credits we qualified for, we could have actually claimed 8, and not given the government ANY money, and we still would have gotten a refund. I'm a little uneasy going that extreme this year, since Jonny will hopefully be working full time starting this summer, and our tax liability will probably change, so instead, I'm going to claim 7 for this year, and see how we look next year, and adjust when our income situation becomes more steady.

Yay for a paycheck raise and a bigger snowball to get out of debt quicker!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

End of the Year Stock Up...

I mentioned on FB a few days ago that I had some good coupons that were expiring soon, so I wanted to use them if I could find good sales to match them with. Here are the results (for simplicity i did not include sales tax - sorry):

Yeeeah. I wont be needing Toothpaste, Laundry Detergent, Toilet Paper, Dish Soap, or Mouthwash for a VERY long time. Hahah! And yes, these are all items I'll use, unlike some crazy couponers who use coupons just for the heck of it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Year In Review - Looking Ahead to 2011

2010 was a good year, financially, for us. When the year started we still had $28,513.17 in debt, which were comprised of 2 credit cards, 1 car, and a consolidation loan. Today, our debt is limited to just the car, and we owe a remaining $5,954.12 on it. In other words, we paid off $22559.05 in 2010, or an average of $1879.92 per month. WOW! As you all know if you've been following me for a while, our goal to pay the car off was going to be 2/22/11 - our 2 year anniversary since we started this plan. Unless something significant changes in the next 6-7 weeks, it doesn't appear that we're going to meet that goal, which makes me VERY sad. But, instead of looking at the negative, I must focus on the positive. We're in a much better position than we've ever been before, and 2011 is the year that we're going to knock this out - whenever that might be.

This year, Jonny is still working his part time bookkeeper position, and he's been hired on by Liberty Tax service for the tax season, which will be a little extra income as well. Now that I'm done with grad school, I'm trying to find something easy, part time to do on the side as well to earn a little extra money while Jonny finished school. I delivered pizzas while I was in the military...but I dont think I would feel safe doing that today. I could apply at fall back to second job that I've done 4 different times now, and I always leave on good terms, but my concern with Publix is that they would schedule me hours that I didn't list on my availability. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I like having my evenings and weekends free, so I really hope I can find something I can do from home, if anything.

Well, it's time to get the house cleaned up to start the new year off right. Hope you all have a FANTASTIC new year!