I am lucky that I am going on vacation in a few weeks and won’t have to worry about renting a car. I will however get to drive a couple of hundred miles on my own and there will be plenty of spending on the trip.
With gas, the way it is my wife and I are going to have to get very creative in the way we pack the car. We have a nice minivan that can hold everything we need and more. Unfortunately, it costs around 75 dollars to fill the tank. We have chosen to take our much smaller but more gas-efficient Honda Civic, which costs around $38 to fill up. So we are practically cutting our gas bill in half but are sacrificing a lot of room, which for those of you that have had to travel with a 10-month-old know will be a challenge.
We have a tentative budget of what we want to spend. We are going with her parents, her sister and her husband, and her youngest sister so there will be shared expenses instead of the burden on just us. The most expensive part of the trip will be the travel so it will be nice to know that there will not be as many costs once we get there.
By the way, we are going camping (or “cabining” as my wife calls it as we will not be staying in tents, no matter how much I beg) so most of our time will be spent fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. I’m sure there may be some time for a little local shopping and the occasional tourist trap activity but that’s what vacations are about.
I had an issue with a bill collector the other day that left me less than happy. I received a call from the accounting department at the hospital. I called them back and the lady on the other end wanted to discuss our bill. They said that they are no longer accepting smaller payments from customers and we need to take care of our remaining balance within 90 days. She then said that if I could come up with the total balance due that they could give me a 20% discount. I said that it would be difficult for us to come up with it since it was around $700 (this is from when our daughter was born in August). I asked what would happen if I couldn’t pay off my balance after 90 days. She informed me that there was going to be a 12% per month interest fee. I said that we would have to continue to make our monthly payments and that was that, or so I thought.
A month later we got some extra money from a health spending account set up through my wife’s job. We planned to pay off our hospital bill. My wife calls to set up an arrangement and was met with a rude woman who said that they were going to send our account to collections because we didn’t pay our bill. My wife was confused and tried to tell her that we had talked to someone a couple of weeks ago about the whole thing. Well, the person on the other end was still quite rude and no solution was reached.
I later contacted the hospital to find out what went wrong.
Apparently, I was not given all the information from my previous conversation. What the hospital was doing was sending all accounts that were not paid within 90 days to another company that specializes in helping people set up affordable payments for their doctor bills. The company charges 12% interest a year (not a month like I was originally told) for their services. Well in short I spoke with a representative that helped explain and apologized to the other person who just berated my wife.
So the point of my rant is that communication is key. If the hospital communicated better with each other they would then be able to pass along better information to their customers and avoid confusion. If my wife and the first representative had communicated better with each other then they would have been able to accept a resolution to the problem instead of just making matters worse.
Well, It looks like I am out of space for this month so I hope you are all having a good summer good luck and have fun.