One of the first things I will make sure that I do is to request an itemized bill from the hospital. This way I can at least see what we are getting charged and it’s the only way to find any mistakes they may have made (and it happens more than you think). It also personally makes me feel better to see the charges as opposed to just getting one sheet that has a large number on it along with the request to pay it within 30 days.
There are not many of us who can pay a large medical bill within 30 days, even with good insurance. There is a company that works with the hospital and patients to help them come up with a payment plan to pay off their medical debt. This will take some of the stress from having to pay those bills.
My wife and I made another big-money decision recently. Just a few weeks before we were expecting our second child our dishwasher quit working. After finding out that it would cost just as much to repair it as a new one would cost we decided to start looking for a new one. After a couple of weeks and many hours spent washing dishes by hand (which I used to do all the time without complaint), we decided to go to a local store that was having a big sale.
Along with our dishwasher, our other kitchen appliances were out of date. We had been contemplating whether or not we should just go with all new appliances. Chances were we were going to have to replace them sooner than later and thought it would be easier to match them now instead of replacing them one at a time. So at the store, we told the nice salesman we needed to replace our dishwasher. He showed some nice ones and we knew what we wanted. We then asked him about a fridge, stove, and microwave that matched. I could literally see the sparkle in his eye and fire in his step.
After finding a set that matched and being told about the discounts that come with buying multiple appliances from the same manufacturers my wife and I took 45 minutes to crunch some numbers in our budget and decided to take the plunge. We went in with the intention of buying a $400 dishwasher and came out with $3,000 worth of wonderful kitchen appliances.
I don’t suggest you do the same thing without knowing ahead of time you can afford it. Even though we were only looking for a dishwasher we had previously talked about the additional appliances and knew that we could afford it if we ultimately made that decision. Just for the record, I am extremely happy with our new appliances and a bonus is they are energy star appliances and will run a lot more efficiently than the ones we previously had.
We now had appliances that we needed to get rid of. The dishwasher was going to be taken by the appliance store but we had a stove, microwave, and refrigerator that all worked fine. I was ready to just let the company take these as well as I figured it would just be easier. We thought about keeping the fridge for extra storage but decided we didn’t have the room and it wasn’t the most energy-efficient refrigerator so decided to try and get rid of it.
My wife suggested we put them in the paper to see if we could sell them. I was hesitant as it sounded like more work with no guarantee for results. Guess who was right? Here’s a hint; it wasn’t me. We put a small ad in the paper for $12 and sold both the fridge and stove the first day. The microwave we donated to my in-laws whose current broken microwave is being used as a nice bread cabinet.
So the summer hasn’t even started yet and I have a new baby boy and a kitchen full of new appliances. I would love to be able to lock up the check-card for a while but I have a feeling I have just started juggling budget categories with 3 weddings and a high school reunion on the horizon. I’m sure the next time that we talk I will have more interesting antidotes but until then I’m sure there is a baby that needs to be burped and a load of dishes that need to be put away. Until then, good luck and have fun.