One of those days

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Image from pixabay.com.  It came up in a search for images related to “resignation.” 🙂

Last night, I came home from work with two six-packs of beer in my hands.  My roommate took one look at them and my face and said “One of those days, huh?” (For the record, I only had two.  He drank three.)

I try to be positive on this blog, I really do.  But sometimes, you just have one of those crappy ass days where you think to yourself, “WHY am i doing this?” Also, “that’s it, I’m GOING to change my life and my work.”

It is not abnormal for my hospital to get phone calls with questions such as:

  • “Is this something I should bring my pet in for?   It was in dog fight and now it’s eye is sticking out from its socket.”
  • “My dog has been vomiting and has had diarrhea for the past seven days.  Do you think I should be worried or bring it in?”

These are the calls that make me want to bang my head against a wall or go outside and do a (not) silent scream in frustration. I want to say to these people, “Well, gee, if you had your eyeball sticking out of its socket, would YOU want to seek medical attention?!  or If you had it coming out of both ends for a week, would YOU want to go to a doctor and get something for it??!!  Then why would you think it would be any different for your pet?!”

Usually with these calls, we then get the story of how they can’t afford to have their pet treated. We give out the phone numbers to the low-income clinics.  Or we get told that we are selfish money grubbers who only care about money, not if their pet lives or dies.  And sometimes they hang up on us.  One day, it happened to me three times.  Because, you know, it’s MY fault that they can’t afford to take care of their pet.

Nothing could be further from the truth and it pisses me off so much.  I want to say, “Trust me.  I make $12.50/hour so I’m certainly NOT making money off of your pet.”  But I can’t.  I have to try and be as nice as possible with them.

Public Service Announcement:  Please, please, please, people, if you can’t afford to take care of a  pet when it gets sick, DON’T adopt it.  Or find a way to save for its health needs. Or take out pet insurance.  Or hell, get a job at an animal clinic so you get a huge discount on their pet care.  Or call the low-income clinics and find out when or if they have special clinics for certain health needs like vaccination clinics or spay and neuter clinics.  I could go on and on.  The point is —  DO SOMETHING.

Don’t expect the person answering the phone at the animal hospital to be a miracle worker or the receptacle for all of your problems and frustrations.  Because WE are people too.  We really are.  We have feelings.  We are scraping to get by just as you are.  (In fact, many of us joke that we work there so that we can afford to take care of our pets or pay our vet bill.  Unfortunately, it’s also kind of true.)  And also, if you’re there with us in person, don’t treat us as if we are stupid because we are standing behind that desk.  I have advanced degrees.  I have CHOSEN to work with animals because I love them so much.

One thing my mom taught me, and I wish other people had learned as well – never assume that the person assisting you is beneath you or doesn’t deserve your respect.  You NEVER know who you are talking to.  And believe me, it’s true.  And you never  know if that person could be the one to help you out when you need it. I mean, truly need it. 

The point of all this is that yesterday was one of those days where I became even more resolved to change my life from its present circumstances.  Tonight, I will take a transcription test or a remote researcher test (another option for me to make extra cash) so I can start earning more side hustle income, and make one of my dreams more of a reality – being able to do freelance work to support myself.   I want to have multiple streams of income so that if my writing can’t support me or I just plain fail miserably at it, there are still options that I can rely upon.

Today is a new day.  I’m going to try to remind myself to not let my emotions get caught up in what is going on around me and which I cannot control.  Easier said than done, for sure.  I need to take a deep breath. Or three.  Or four.  Or ten, as the case may be. 

If you’ve ever felt this way about your job or your life, please share below or feel free to share this post with someone who has.  I’d love for us to be able to talk about it.

As always, thank you for reading, and thank you so much to those of you who have commented on or messaged me about my last couple of posts about being brutally honest or my talk about money, either here or on Facebook. They have really helped to keep me inspired.

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If you need to shop online, I’d greatly appreciate it if you use my Amazon affiliate links or Ebates referral link! Every little bit helps, and it costs you nothing to do so. Thank you!

 

 

Just being brutally honest

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Image from pixabay.com

Since taking a good hard look at my finances the other day, and seeing that my money is so tight, I’ve highly felt the need to earn some extra income.   And cut my expenses even more, if that’s even possible.

I won’t lie to  you. I felt moments of sheer panic.  Moments when I could feel my breath becoming shallow.  And wondering if I would ever be able to move someplace near the water and even afford $600/month again for rent, or even a tiny house mortgage?

I also felt anger at myself for not being able to afford a simple one bedroom apartment on my own.  Me, the one with the law degree and the master’s in library science now working on yet another degree.  How is it I’m only making $24,000??? What is WRONG with me and why did I throw so much away?? WHAT WAS I THINKING?

So, I’m here to tell  you that while yes, it’s important to follow or “chase” your dreams,  it is not always easy.  My life and apartment look nothing like those Instagram photos that people like to share where they always wake up near a gorgeous sunrise and everything is all hunky-dory.

I’m still using those plastic drawers for my clothes I had in my RV.  I have book crates that I use as book cases and as the base for my bed which has a mattress on it from Walmart that I bought for a whopping $129 and because it could be easily shipped to my house, and unrolled from the box and voila, a bed is born!  Oh, have I mentioned my bed is in the living room which is now mainly my bedroom? (By the way, the mattress works just fine.  No need for me to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars.)

I’m 45. This is definitely NOT how I thought I would be living my life 20 years ago.  Not even 10 years ago, or even when my marriage ended.  But then again, back then, I was anything but honest with myself.

So, back to those moments of panic I was feeling.  They were combined with feelings of anxiousness at wanting to do so many things at one time to get myself into a better financial position.  Should I apply to all the transcription companies I can find? Should I apply to be a transcription editor?  (So far I’ve heard back from the three I applied to, and they’re interested in going further through the process of me.)   Should I spend the $199 for the freelance writing course I just heard about from one of my favorite YouTubers, Kristin Wong, as an investment in my future goals of wanting to create income through my writing?  (Here is her YouTube channel.)

And if I do get multiple positions for transcribing, and I start writing and submitting to places, and I’m still going through the humane education program, HOW CAN I POSSIBLY DO IT ALL? Will I have time to sleep?

And what if I’m just kidding myself?  What if I never get published anywhere, and my writing actually sucks?  Oh, sure, I can talk a good game sometimes about how I want to derive more of my income from writing and transcription jobs, when push comes to shove, and I sit down and try to write for anything other than this blog, I get scared and all that negative self-talk finds its way to occupy center stage in my mind?  I know some REALLY GOOD writers who struggle to make ends meet.  How could I dare to think I might have any better luck than them?

Do you see the spiraling that was occurring in my mind? I do, looking at it now.  And I started to feel it then, and caught myself staring off into space, trying to figure it all out.  The good thing is, I recognized it for what it was.  Panic.  And I forced myself to breathe.  And then I pulled out my journal.

To calm myself, I forced myself to write down three questions, all having the word FOCUS being written in all caps.

  1.  FOCUS – What  am I good at?
  2.  FOCUS – What do I like to do?
  3.  FOCUS – What am I unhappy about with my life right now?

Yes, that third question can quite possibly grow out of control if I let it.  But I felt like the first two were more positive and might help me figure out my way of dealing with what gets listed under the third.  Below is what I came up with at that time.

What am I good at? 

Writing, proofreading, transcribing, research

What do I like to do? 

Write, color, be outside in nature, exercise, spend time with my animals, read/edit other people’s work, research, read, teach others

I noticed that the word write/writing was in both categories, as was the word “research.”  It shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering it’s what I loved about being an English major in college – writing.  It is what got me through law school – writing for and getting published by the Environmental Law Journal, and all that research that went along with it.  It’s what kept me in my job as a librarian for so many years – my love of research.  The hunt and the thrill of finding something you thought might just be impossible to uncover.  (And it’s what I miss now.)

And that’s when I thought to myself, “You’ve always been a hard worker.  When push comes to shove, you get out there and work your ass off, just like your mom.  You CAN and WILL change your life, your location.  It might not happen overnight.  But you WILL find a way.”

So, I’m trying.  I’m trying to get that extra work.  I did sign up for the writing course because I’d like to learn from someone who has been successful in the world of freelance writing.  I am going through the assessment process for a few transcription companies and I’m going to apply for a proofreading (independent contractor) position this week.  And when school starts, I will do my best to keep it all together.  And I WILL make enough money to live on like a normal person! 🙂

Eventually, I WILL live near the coast in a warmer climate than Boston!

So when you start to feel overwhelmed, like I did, just take a moment and stop yourself. Start writing down things that are going through your mind. FOCUS.  And see the commonalities.  And then, instead of just moaning and groaning about how you don’t like your present situation, take one step.  Just start doing SOMETHING to change your situation.  YOU will have taken control.  Not your anxiety or your fears.  YOU.

I hope this post can help someone else as it’s been cathartic for me to write it. Please hit the like button, or subscribe to my blog, comment below or share it with someone it might help.  And, thank you, as always, for reading!

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What do I value and why do I save?

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image courtesy of pixabay.com

I feel like these two questions are interrelated (at least for me) so I’m going to try to tackle them in one post.  When I thought about my long term goals, these questions inevitably rose up in my mind.  And because I love that feeling of opening a journal and finding a blank page and then covering it in ink, I started writing a few lists.

What do I value? (not in any specific order)

  • independence and me-time (to create, to think, to just be content)
  • time in nature
  • exercise/physical fitness
  • eating food that is good for me
  • family
  • my animals (and all the other animals out there)
  • writing and being able to express myself creatively
  • reading

I just noticed something – money doesn’t show up in that list.   Hmmmmm

But now here is the list of why I save:

  • so I can buy a tiny house to provide shelter for myself and my furbabies
  • so I can buy some land on which to put my tiny house
  • to be able to write more often and eventually be able to be more of my own boss
  • so I never have to face my phobia of being homeless
  • so I won’t have to work for the rest of my life and can eventually retire

Yes, I have a phobia (or very strong fear) of being homeless.  And living in Albuquerque, there are reminders of this possibility at so many intersections, with people holding signs asking for money or food.   I think the fear goes back to my early childhood, when my parents got divorced and our income was so drastically reduced at the drop of a hat.  It’s a fear that came back full-force when I thought of leaving my husband back in 2010, and ultimately did.  I think it’s a fear I will always have somewhere in the back of my mind. But it’s a fear that also helps to reinforce to me what I do value and why I save money with every paycheck.

What do you value?  And why do you save?  Do  you see the two as being interrelated? 

Please drop me a line below and share your thoughts.  And if you know someone who might enjoy this post, please share it! Thanks, as always, for reading.

 

 

 

 

The Power of Two!! (Milestones)

accomplish-1136863_640I am very happy because this week I have hit two milestones. My retirement savings have finally hit the $200K mark (between my two accounts).  And I finally have over $2000 in my online savings account.  Yes, I still have debt but there is something comforting about looking at that number and seeing it again.  It’s been a long time.

I used to think that you needed to save $1,000,000 if you were going to be able to retire comfortably.  Of course, I used to think I needed the house, white picket fence, 2 cars and a garage to be happy.  My, how times (and perspectives) have changed!! It’s comforting to know now how much less I can survive on and still feel happy.

To many of  you, that may not sound like a lot to have saved in my basic savings accounts.  Some folks try to save $2K per month.  But in the grand scheme of things and relative to my very low income of about $24K per year (not counting the transcribing I’ve been lucky to get thanks to my friend Elaine), it feels good.  I’m saving 7% pre-tax and about 13% post tax to fund various savings accounts (or sinking funds, as some like to call them.)

And I’m almost up to $1K in my tiny house fund.  Yes, I have a long way to go.  But as my friend Dan says, I’m determined, and he knows there’s no stopping me when I set my mind to something.

Now that I’ve set my mind to something, I see opportunities opening up to me.  I was offered the chance to make some overtime at work, at another animal hospital that is undergoing some staffing shortages and I’ve taken them up on three extra shifts.  Overtime, baby! And a co-worker of mine was scheduled to work Christmas morning and she has a three year old kid. I offered to work her 6:30-12:30 shift.  It’s a win for both of us.  She gets to spend the holiday with her kid and I get paid 2.5 times my regular rate.  And the more my paycheck is worth, the more goes into my 401(k) for that paycheck because my contribution is based on a percentage, not a set dollar amount.

Last night, on my way home from work, I passed two people pushing their shopping carts full of their only belongings.  It makes me very sad to see so much of that in this city.

It makes me even more determined to not let that happen to me.  I might not want to work the next two weeks in a row without a day off, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and like I said in an earlier post, sometimes you just have to say to yourself, “whatever it takes.”

What kind of milestones are you reaching for?  What kind of milestones have you reached already that have made  you feel awesome and even more motivated??

Please hit like or subscribe to the blog or leave me a comment below and thanks for reading! If you know someone who might enjoy it, please share!! Thanks for reading, as always!

Feeling Contentment (Without Spending a lot of Money)

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image courtesy of pixabay.com.  The ocean and nature, what could be better?!

This holiday season, if you shop for holiday gifts online, via Amazon, would you kindly use my Amazon Affiliate link?  It will cost you nothing extra but I will earn a small percentage of your purchase!  If you’re looking elsewhere, please use my Ebates referral link – I will get a small referral fee, and you can save money on something you were going to buy online already it can even be airline tickets or hotel reservations, etc.).  Please!! And thank you!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been getting daily emails from Mrs. Frugalwoods of the Frugalwoods blog.  Today’s email asked the following at the end:

When are you most content?  When you are spending money?  When you are spending less money?  Can you be content with fewer material possessions?

The first is an easy one for me to answer – I’m content when:

  • I am with my animals (The Herd) watching them all sleep peacefully, knowing they are safe and sound, and they will not go hungry, wanting for another meal.
  • I’m writing (blog post or otherwise) and I feel like I’m “in the flow.”
  • I’m reading a good book that I just can’t put down! (Check out my Helpful Books page for some of the most helpful to me.)
  • I’ve just finished an awesome run or workout at the gym. I don’t smell like a rose but who cares?!
  • I’m spending time in nature, feeling at peace and just “being.”
  • I’ve just finished up a transcription or other type of project, or accomplished all the goals I set out to complete on a certain day.
  • I help someone over the phone at work, and feel my inner librarian coming out, and they tell me I’ve been very helpful with all the information I’ve provided.
  • I check my retirement accounts and see that the balance is growing! It’s hard for me to save right now with such a low salary, but I’m trying to sock away 7% into a 401(k) and $95/paycheck for my Don’t Touch (emergency) fund, my insurance premiums and travel/tiny house funds.  (I just calculated that $95 savings amount to be roughly 13% of my after-tax salary!)

As you can see, I’m perfectly content to spend my time in activities that cost me very little, or nothing, and in some instances, actually earns me some money.   Also, I can definitely be content with fewer materials possessions! When I moved from my Boston apartment to Utah, to live in the fifth wheel travel trailer, my car held everything of value I owned (and my animals who I don’t own as they are living creatures and my family).  All except for one painting of a coastal setting, which I ultimately gave to my friend Michele back in Kanab.  I just had this feeling that she was the right person to receive it and her reaction to it confirmed that.

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You can only see two pet carriers in the photo, but there were five of them inside, plus Osito on my lap!

These days, I don’t buy much. When I do, it’s usually something I have thought about a lot, such as my first Christmas tree since 2014.  Someone told me that Hobby Lobby was selling all of their Christmas stuff at 50% off, so I bought a 4.5 foot tall tree and ornaments.  It makes me happy to look at it, and I feel like it makes the house more of a “home.”  When alone over the holidays, it can be very easy to feel down.  Believe me,  I know.  And it’s small enough that I can put it up in a tiny house later on!

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My first Christmas tree in three years. A whopping 4.5 feet tall.  My baby girl, Callie, approves!  Yes, one of the ornaments is a tiny, vintage travel trailer!

When do you feel most content? When shopping or indulging in retail therapy?  Or some other type of activity – exercise, etc.?  Tending to a hobby?  Reading a book?

Please drop me a line below and let me know! And as always, thanks for reading, and if you think someone else would like or benefit from reading this post, please share it!

Money: Why and How do I Spend It?

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This image is free, courtesy of Pixabay.com!

I’d like to ask a favor at the beginning of this post.  If you are going to shop today on Amazon, could you kindly use my affiliate link?  It will not cost you anything to do so.  Thank you.

I’ve started getting a daily email from Mrs. Frugalwoods of the Frugalwoods blog.  She has what she calls an Uber Frugal Month Spending Challenge.  I admit, I’ve not been completely successful in it.  But I do like the daily emails and things that they make me think about.   An email from the other day suggested this assignment, and I thought it might be a good time to talk about it, seeing as we just survived Black Friday and today is Cyber Monday.

Write down all the reasons why you spend money and reflect on whether they’re valid or not.

So, here goes nothing.  I spend money on pet food and food for myself, gas for my car, groceries, utility bills such as gas, electric, and internet.  I spend money on things like car and renter’s insurance.  I bought myself an annual membership to the ABQ BioPark, Aquarium and Zoo.  (After going four times in a year, it starts to pay itself back and yes, I do go often.)  I recently paid $150 plus tax for new Hoka One One sneakers.  It might sound like a lot for running shoes, but if you’ve been or are a runner, you know that good quality shoes are a MUST.  (I’ve spent enough money on physical therapy over the years, thank you.)  And finally, yes, occasionally, I do spend it on a book or two if my library doesn’t have it and I think it is something I might want to mark up in the margins or to highlight.  Or if it’s for school.

For example, the other day I bought the book Tiny House Decisions by Ethan Waldman.   I bought just The Guide because I’m sure I’ve seen or heard some of the interviews already or at least parts of them, possibly conducted by others, since I’ve been watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts for years now (long before it became “the thing to do.”)  I also paid an extra $4 to get the workbook because I know myself.  I might make decisions and end up writing them in various places, which really isn’t helpful when it comes time to do the actual work of building or buying a tiny home.

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One version of a tiny house.  Mine will likely be smaller! Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Another book I spent money on recently, but haven’t yet read – because I pre-ordered it – is Cait Flanders’ book, The Year of Less:  How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, And Discovered Life is Worth More than Anything You Can Buy in a Store.    Cait’s book comes out in January 2018 and I can’t wait!

Do I think these are valid reasons to spend money?  Yes.  I love Cait’s blog, and her podcast, and I want to support her as an author because I believe in her and I want to repay her back for all the helpful advice I’ve gleaned from her writing and her thoughts on the Budgets and Cents podcast.  I have made up my mind that in some way, shape or manner, I AM going to have my own tiny house or abode someday and yes, there are a ton of decisions that will need to be made along the way.  In my mind, buying Ethan’s guide and Cait’s book is a way of keeping that dream alive, that one small step I could take each day.  You have to find inspiration every day.

I’ve begun to also think of spending in a different way, that of saving.  I’ve set up a Tiny Home Fund, as I mentioned in another post.  I worked on Thanksgiving so the extra money I made from working then (getting paid 2.5 my regular hourly rate) will be “spent” into the Tiny Home Fund.  I’m currently doing some transcription work for my friend Elaine.  The money I earn from that will also be “spent” into the Tiny Home Fund.  Any little bit of money I can save from what I normally spend per month will be “spent” into that Tiny Home Fund.

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How I’d like to spend some of my days in retirement, contemplating things by the water.  Image courtesy of pixabay.com

I’ve begun figuring out how much more money I can “spend” into my retirement savings.  I don’t want to work forever – I don’t know anyone who does.  The more I put into my 401(k) from each paycheck, the lower amount that Uncle Sam gets to tax me on from my paycheck which is already small enough.  I work my butt off for it and I’d like to keep as much of it as I can for my future.

I also “spend” my money into my savings for another reason.  There are so, so many homeless people in Albuquerque.  So, so many people panhandling on the street corners.  It reminds me of my phobia of being homeless.  And it spurs me on to save as much as I can.   I know that not much separates me from them – what happens if I lose my job?  How long could I go on with what I have saved?

I spend my money on necessities.  I have to eat, and so do my pets.  I have to have my car to get to work so I keep it in as good a shape as I can.  Any clothes I do buy are second hand, and even then they are few and far in between.  I need to pay for the utilities so I can keep the lights on and the hot water coming out of the faucet to wash dishes.   I recently bought cat trees for my cats so that they would be happy in the house, and because they had gotten sick so many times on the one I had had for two years, it was gross, despite being cleaned up several times.  They purr on it and love sitting on its ledges in the sun near the window.  To me, that $80 some odd dollars I spent on both trees was well worth it to see them happy.  After all, they are my kids.

Yes, occasionally, I do spend money on something like fries from McDonalds when I have had a crappy day at work, but those events are becoming fewer and farther in between because I’ve started to ask myself – are these fries really worth the extra time it will cause you to work between now and getting that Tiny House?  And 99 times out of 100, the answer is NO!   Plus, I try to remind myself of how crappy it sometimes makes me feel afterward.

So there you have it – I hope that this post will help you to reflect a bit before you hit that “Add to cart” button today on Cyber Monday.  Do you REALLY need what you are about to buy, or will it really benefit that person you are about to buy it for?  Do you already have something at home that can work just as well, or could you gift an experience to your family or friend member instead?

What kinds of things do  you spend your money on and do you think your reasons are valid?  Why or why not?  Please drop me a comment below or hit the like button if you’ve liked this post, and as always, THANKS FOR READING!

 

 

 

 

There’s GOT to be a better way

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image courtesy of pixabay.com

It’s hard for me to pick a category for this post since I try to keep things positive as much as I can. But sometimes the stress of my finances does get to me.  I’m human.  So please allow me to get out my honest thoughts on a topic that frustrates me, and then I’ll try to get something positive out of it by the time I’m done.  Okay….deep breath….

Last night, I sat down and went through my open enrollment benefit choices.  It was something I had been dreading since I know I have no choice but to go with a high deductible plan since I know there is no way I can even come up with the deductible amount for the less-high-deductible plan.  Follow that?!

My deductible is $4500.  The “lower” plan is $2500.  Both are still hard for someone on my income to meet.  (I figured out my income after taxes is something like $17,555).  So basically, I hope and pray that nothing happens to me, and I use the Walgreen’s prescription plan to pay for my medications instead of my health insurance (because I would pay more for them if I used my prescription plan, which is sad.) So basically, I feel like I have money taken out of my paycheck every two weeks for no benefit whatsoever as long as things remain the status quo.  I suppose I could just say “F this, I’ll just go without medical insurance and pay the tax penalty when it rolls around.”  I know and work with people who do that.  But being somewhat risk averse, I am reluctant to do that.

I had my prescriptions last filled in October and again, I toy with the idea of trying to wean myself off of my antidepressants as a way to save money.  I could probably do it with the wellbutrin again, as I have in the past.  That is the more expensive of the two, the other being prozac. (And yes, I do get the generics of both of them to save money.)  But a part of me knows that when I was diagnosed as depressed several years ago, it was a “clinical depression” which means that there was a chemical imbalance.  Just as folks with other health problems need meds like blood pressure pills to help balance their bodies, I need the prozac.  It’s not a happy pill.  Nothing is.  You still have to learn AND USE coping skills, as I have done.  And I just feel better about myself as a whole when I am taking it.

So . . . I think I will enroll in the HSA this year and have money taken out, pre-tax, to help pay for whatever doctor I see to get my prozac refilled.  The money spent on that visit and those meds are worth it to me to remain a functional and highly performing member of society.  And if I can keep a few more hard-earned dollars from being taxable AND help me lower the cost of medications I need, why not?  Right?

All I know is, there has GOT to be a better way to handle health insurance than the way the US does it.  My boyfriend, as you may remember, is in Canada.  They have a very different health care system.  If he doesn’t use all the benefits up that he has paid for out of his paycheck every week, guess what?  He gets money back come tax time!!  And no, I realize their health care system isn’t perfect — nothing is — but the American way of doing it seems to help no one but the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

So….let’s see….how to put a positive outlook on this?  I’m thinking….

HOURS PASS…..

Just kidding.

I guess the good thing in all of this is that I realize if I were to get hit by a mac truck while crossing the street, I wouldn’t be on the hook for all of the bill once I hit that whopping $4,500 deductible and then all the co-insurance payments for the rest of that huge balance. If I didn’t have insurance, I probably would be on the hook for all of it.  (I’m straining for the silver lining here, I admit it.)

And also, I have a job that offers insurance.  Not the greatest insurance, but it is something, which I suppose is better than nothing?  The dental insurance and vision coverage are somewhat decent.  I had a crown put on one of my teeth this past summer and it cost about $550, which isn’t as much as it used to cost me back in Boston.

And I take care of myself – eat salads at least five days/week for lunch, and have cut down on the snacking and am continuing to work out about 4 days per week.  At 45, I’m proud of myself for doing that, and working full time and going to school part time!

And if nothing else, sitting down and choosing my benefits again forced me to reevaluate my budget.  This year, at least I am splitting the rent with someone, which helps.  Last year, it was all paid by little old me.   Let’s just say living on a lower income really does help to make decisions about wants/needs more cut and dry.   I’ve become more resourceful and no longer feel tempted to spend money on things like I used to.  I will write an updated post about my budget and income  later on — this post has already become too long!

For those of you in the United States, do you feel the same way as me when open enrollment comes around?  A bit down, but resigned to your fate?

For those of you outside the US, what do you think about the health insurance in your own country?  Do you feel it’s adequate for what you pay in taxes for it?  Or would you prefer to have a system like ours in America? I would love to know your thoughts on what’s good, what’s bad in your present system, so please drop me a comment if you have the time to do so!

And if you think this post might make someone feel better, for whatever reason, please feel free to share it!

As always, thanks for reading!