Well hello there! Did you miss me? I’ve been on summer hiatus the past few weeks while entertaining my “friend” Murphy.
I switched ships in early June, packed up and flew from Europe to Alaska, finished out a four-and-a-half month contract in cold rainy weather, packed up again and flew home.
During that same time, I visited my favorite medical clinic in Southeastern Alaska and had three weeks’ worth of lab tests and follow-up appointments. I’ve experienced lingering headaches and recurring eye pain, also some numbness and tingling along with other weird nerve related sensations from head to toe. I attributed it to stress and lack of sleep; the doctor wanted to rule out other possibilities.
For my bi-annual employee exam, I required extra blood tests and an EKG. For the headaches, the doctor also scheduled an MRI with contrast. Did you know hospitals charge anywhere from $2k-$5k for an MRI alone! Thankfully I didn’t end up needing the MRI at this time, but if I’d done it, I found an outpatient MRI facility that charges a maximum $600 out of pocket.
After arranging the initial MRI appointment, I contacted the clinic and asked for a worst case scenario tally on the outstanding bill. I gasped to hear $2763.00. Aaack!! Wheezing…feeling faint…
I’d planned earlier this year to put $1101.10 each month towards debt repayment (and be debt free by October 2018). That couldn’t happen with this crazy Murphy visit looming.
June/July threatened to sink my budget and potentially force me to use my emergency fund and all extra savings, and then my car decided it needed work too.
Feeling left out, Mr. Corolla?! Sigh.
Do you ever face months like that? Things are humming along fine in the budget department and then WHAM! Murphy visits, more than once!
These moments stress the importance of Rainy Day Funds/Sinking Funds in the budget to set aside money for the inevitable. Cars need maintenance, people wind up at the doctor for annual exams and other types of appointments.
Thankfully for my budget, the lab results showed I simply suffered from low potassium and low Vitamin D. After several bananas each day and staying properly hydrated I bounced back, except the eye pain. I spend so much time staring at the screen that I have probably developed eye strain. Yuck.
The actual total for the medical bills, after insurance, comes to $597.09. That’s much more affordable! Thank you God! I also remembered that I have an HSA (Health Savings Account) with plenty of funds to cover it, so no hit to the budget. Yessss!! Planning ahead saved me money!
The car needed new rear brake shoes and hardware for $200, but I’d saved up $50 a month during my four month contract and had $208.80 in my car maintenance sinking fund. A win there too!!
So you can see it’s been a busy summer. I have lots to catch you up on. Stay tuned!!
What’s happening on the blog this week:
- Should you save for retirement while paying off debt? What would you do if you only had $17k left to pay off? I’ll share my choice and why. Stay tuned!
- I’ll also update you on how I did this month in my end of month Debt Progress Report.
I look forward to sharing more with you soon. I hope you’re having an excellent summer free of Murphy visits!
Until next time, xo!