On Out-of-Network Horror Stories

@Katni I've gotten that a lot. :( I have some general sympathy for the fact that my doctor (or PA or NP or whoever) has to know a LOT to do their actual job of treating me and it would not necessarily be a good use of their time or expertise to spend a lot of time personally navigating the ever-churning waters of the nuances of insurance billing. In order for them to keep track of whose insurance and what subsets of those insurance policies offer which benefits at their office, they'd have to spend a lot of time on keeping that rather than on treating patients. So I get why they'd want to defer to the people whose actual job it is to know that stuff. But it's really weird when they act like it's an absurd question or aren't helpful in getting you the information. There's a way to express "I am not the right person to accurately answer that question" that isn't dickish and can actually lead to useful answers, but not all medical professionals seem to think of it in those terms. I assume some of it is the same frustration we feel as patients when we have to navigate the complexities of the system, but... take it out on someone else, dude.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm 0

On The Weirdest Ways to Make a Fortune

That's... kind of genius, and I'm a little sad I didn't think of it.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm 0

On Living Paycheck to Paycheck in Boston on $80,000 a Year

@TheDoctorsCompanion Yes. I desperately miss my family and friends (I'm in a small city in the middle of rural Florida; they're in the DC and Portland areas) and many of the cultural things that come with living in a bigger place, but I can consistently afford everything my partner and I need (allowing him to finish school without working full time) and enough extra to not be afraid of the occasional big expense, and that's worth so much. I run the numbers every few months: could I afford to move? Would it make sense to move? How long until I would have to give up all the things I love? How long until I'd be truly broke? Would it be worth it to see them more often? Which would I regret more in twenty years?

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

@eatmoredumplings Which is to say: if I'm going to keep drinking it, yes, I should get my own cheaper supply. :( Your idea is good, I am just apparently still in denial.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

@eatmoredumplings True! I am actually allergic to both coffee and tea, so soda is really my only caffeination choice, but the point still stands for that. I've irrationally resisted buying some to bring with me because I didn't want to admit I was "really" drinking soda again. :( I kicked it a couple of years ago, completely, and it was so great! So much money saved! So much better sleep etc.! I wish I had just kept avoiding it.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm 0

On Happy Monday. Are You Richer Than The Average Millennial?

My net worth is basically $45k, which is my home equity, plus three retirement accounts, plus my emergency fund. (My checking accounts vs. my credit cards, and my car loan vs. my car, are basically washes.) I'm 30. I'm realistic enough to know that I have that much because my family bailed me out at a couple of strategic points: they helped me keep my house when I got divorced instead of losing it to foreclosure (I'm not including in my net worth the amount of the house that's owned by a family member, heh), and they helped me with some medical bills I couldn't pay, and most crucially, they paid the difference between my scholarship and the full cost of college attendance for me, so I have no student loans. So even though all that $45k is money I actually put into things that I actually earned from working, it's still effectively a measure of family assistance, because I wouldn't be in a position to do it without those three key factors coming into play five to twelve years ago. I am just trying to let it all help me build a really solid foundation so I can really give back eventually.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

I feel like you are doing weekends right. I like your breakdown categories. I had a kind of expensive weekend, but a fun one! Friday, I ditched work a little early and we drove out to take selfies on the prairie, because why not? ($0) Then, we bought fancy brownies at the farm store nearby ($8.68) and had an early anniversary dinner at the pizza place that catered out wedding ($34.09 - thanks 20% off birthday month coupon!). We also hit Publix for some last-minute picnic supplies and groceries ($72.14). Saturday, we went out and picnicked, which after the stuff we'd pre-bought really only cost us the gas to get there ($30.50) and the two caffeine stops we made ($7.06 +$3.38). My mom sent a note to my dude asking him to collude with her to take me out to a nice dinner out, so we had a free-to-us lovely tapas dinner! ($0 for the dinner and for the brief Facetime with my mom when we got there) Afterwards I was feeling kind of melancholy about how far away my mom lives so I was glad to run into friends at the TCBY next door and we got froyo after being serendipitously uninspired by the dessert choices at dinner ($8.67). Sunday, we went to the springs with our friends ($20 entrance fee for two people; I'm gonna recommend a cheaper place next time). Nice swimming, great company, and the great news that my friend's girlfriend, who was visiting from a city five hours away, is planning to move here in a few months! Total: $184.52 (I estimated $165). It is clear to me that my caffeine habit, which is back in full force, is a driving factor in part of my higher-than-expected weekend bills recently. I really ought to work to kick that, except I've been depressed lately anyway and dropping caffeine does not give me headaches but does cripple me with temporary crushing depression. But the alternative is high bills, poor sleep, and high anxiety. So, uh, really not sure how I'm gonna get myself out of this one, but hopefully I'll come up with something.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm 0

On Is 75 Enough?

@ECW Yes. While I'm sure it's not the author's intent to imply this and that he would vehemently argue against it, saying life doesn't seem worth living while disabled definitely does (or perhaps just should) make the reader wonder how much he can value the lives of those who are currently disabled.

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm 0

On Here is Your Open Thread

@beet hummus Never apologize for extra celebration!!!

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm 1

On Friday Estimate

@beet hummus Hee! Thanks!

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 9:20 am 0