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Financial Ups and Downs


We already know that this month is tough – emotionally and financially!

Here are the latest happenings in this roller-coaster called life…

Good: I got called to do a campus visit interview for the job I recently talked about. It’s really kind of odd. They told me to pencil in 1-4 on a couple different days and they’d get back to let me know which day works for the committee. Very different than my other interview experiences where I’ve had a full day worth of meetings and activities, complete with detailed itinerary and dinner with faculty. I’m hoping this has more to do with the last-minute nature of this job posting and is not a red flag of a potentially low salary (no salary range was listed in the job posting, it just said DOE. I’m very nervous about a surprise super low salary offer, where we might be too far apart to even negotiate).

Bad: Hubs’ truck was making a super scary noise and not braking correctly so he took it into the shop. We were hoping brakes were the issue (they were recently replaced and are still under warranty), but nope. It was related to power steering (he told me more specifics, but I can’t recount the issues here because I’ve already forgotten the names of the leaking/broken parts). Price tag = $1350. Could not have come at a worse time.

Good: We had nearly $900 in our car repairs saving account! I’m going to pay for the repairs on a credit card so I can buy myself an extra month until it has to be paid (note: I still use the credit card for large purchases for the extra assurances and to earn some credit card rewards points, but I always pay it in full when the bill is due). I’ll be able to put $900 toward it from the money we already currently have and the other $450 will come from next month’s budget (since the bill won’t be due until next month). Wiping my brow, thankful we have that savings to cover the majority of the expense!

Bad: I cannot get my husband into the dentist. Cannot do it. Does anyone have any tips on this? From a logical perspective, he totally agrees he needs to go and should really have better oral hygiene – taking more preventative measures instead of waiting until things hit “crisis” level (aka: root canal) and being hit with a much larger bill. So – that’s not the issue. He “gets” it and he agrees. Part of the issue is work-related. Especially with the lower income he’s been drawing he really wants to focus 100% of his energy on work and not take time off for dental appointments. The other part is more psychological. He hates the dentist. I want him to go to a new dentist (an awesome local family-run office who has cut me deals for paying cash and works with me on price), but he refuses to get another dental x-ray. After his health scare in late 2013 when he had a million medical procedures performed, he’s very aversive to any additional procedures. He’s especially reluctant to have new x-rays done because he thinks he’s going to get cancer from all the exposure. He did try to call and have his dental x-rays transferred from his old office, but they send some file format that can’t be opened by the new dentist. The new dentist would even do it for FREE, so it’s really not a cost thing. It’s all about hubs’ fear of dentist/x-ray/dental work and his reluctance to take any time off work. Suggestions? I’m at a loss.

Good: We were officially accepted to a new preschool starting in mid-August! I will be very sad to leave the JCC. They truly have an incredible program! But I really like the new school too and I will LOVE the close proximity to our house and the lower cost! One caveat is it only operates during the school year (not year-round), so I may still enroll the girls in summer camp at the JCC next summer (which, of course, means summer months will be more costly for childcare since JCC costs more). I do like that as a possible compromise though.

What are some good (or bad) things that have impacted your finances lately?


  • Reply Marzey doats |

    I completely sympathize with your husband, as a very reluctant dental patient as well! A couple of suggestions, first can you make the dental appointment for him? Plan a time that is very unlikely to get pre-empted by work if that is possible. It is harder to avoid an appointment that to put off making one. Second, can you get the dentist to agree that there will be no xrays on the first visit? Just a meet the dentist and get a look around in there. Going to a new dentist is scary because you havent had a chance to build any trust. If he goes, and everyone is nice, it will be less bad than he expected, and less bad than his last visits! This will help lower his resistance to future visits. Last, explain to the dentist that your husband has extreme dental anxiety. Any good dentist has experience with this, as a lot of us have it. They need to be very low key, with no berating about previous bad dental hygeine. Just praise and encouragment for having made the decision to fix things in the future.
    Another thing that helped me was going to the dentist for my son. Its weird, but you go and nothing bad happens to you, and you have to be cheerful,and encouraging for your kid, and it really takes a lot of the scary away. Are your daughters ready for their first dental,appointments, or are they still to young?

    Best of luck!

  • Reply Jackie |

    My husband is exactly like yours. Mine is deathly afraid of the dentist. Honestly I have given up on trying to make him go. He just won’t. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in his mouth–like easily $10K worth. So he just goes in if he needs a tooth pulled unless he can it himself. I so wish his parents stressed how good dental care is important. I find he’ll only go if he wants to and sees a reason for it. Mine doesn’t because he knows his teeth are so bad.

  • Reply Juhli |

    Is your husband aware of the awful complications that can result from dental problems – heart problems specifically. (http://www.123dentist.com/can-dental-problems-cause-other-health-problems/). Does he want to be a good role model for his daughters? Has he researched the highly unlikely chance that the type of x-rays he would have can cause problems? Does he generally resist when others try to get him to do something? Does he want to change?

    The last question is the most important. Good luck.

    • Reply Juhli |

      And congrats on getting the interview!!! If this isn’t a tenure track position then it doesn’t surprise me that the interview will be shorter. Don’t stress over the potential pay but do your research to find out what similar jobs are paying at other universities and be ready to answer the question about what salary you want (and why).

  • Reply Jessica |

    I’m a dental hygienist – the amount of exposure from dental X-rays is minuscule…even lower if the dental office uses digital X-rays. We probably get more ambient radiation in our day to day life than one X-ray. It’s a necessary thing for the dentist to do the best job. I agree with the a above poster – just make the appt for him :). Good luck!

    • Reply Jessica |

      I would also contact the previous dentist again about the X-rays already done. They should be able to print the images for him to avoid duplication

      • Reply Ashley |

        Good point about asking to pick up a physical copy of the X-rays! Thanks!

  • Reply Gail |

    I had to have a lot of dental work done. And I knew it, but I was nervous. As a previous reader mentioned, it was having my son that really motivated me to go. I had been to the assessment etc. and there was a day of work scheduled for my mouth. My dentist knew how nervous and really scared about it. She prescribed maybe a Xanax (it was 15 years ago 🙂 ) I took it an hour before my appointment. It was smooth sailing. I do believe that they gave me another one half way through my appointment. I got picked up when it was over. I think because I don’t really remember everything that was done, (deep root cleaning, prepping teeth for root canal) it wasn’t a bad experience, I’m totally fine going to the dentist now.
    Get your husband a prescription from the dentist… get him in the chair for an assessment and a cleaning. 🙂
    Good luck.

  • Reply Adam |

    Check into sedation dentistry. I’ve even heard radio ads specifically targeted at folks who hate the dentist. They can sedate you pretty good or even knock you out cold and do all the work at once. I am in the same boat as your husband. Eventually I plan to take this route. Here’s a Tucson one:


  • Reply Cori |

    Not a dentist fan…childhood was me in dentist chair with constant drilling… I agree sedation dentistry…the last time I had an issue (filling)…my dentist asked about my pain level…I wanted to say a paper cut is traumatic, but I thought no grow up so I said can we try no novacaine because I hate the feeling and needle involved in novocaine…she said she would count to 5 with each drilling…it was perfect…I am not making this up the best filling I had in my entire life and I am no longer worried about the dentist.

  • Reply Alexandra |

    I am feeling your pain from a few of these things! My husband is also self-employed… with no indication of this happening, he was not paid for an entire year’s worth of work (which resulted in lawyer fees and still no income, which in turn will now result in a suit against the guy at some point). He is just now bouncing back after building up an entirely new pipeline of projects. Thankfully, I have a steady bi-weekly paycheck and recently freed-up funds from paying off debt.

    In the meantime, lightning struck a tree in our yard that now needs to be taken down. It ruined a few electronics in the house and required a plumber, electrician, the power company and cable company to all come out multiple times. AND the HVAC had to be repaired, and will soon have to be replaced because of the damage from the power surge. We are working with our homeowners’ insurance company to see what’s covered. Oh, and my husband’s car had to have $1,200 worth of repairs in the middle of all this. 🙂 Adulthood! Home-ownership! Yay!

    Congrats to you for getting the interview and for having a good chunk of money set aside for your car repairs. Being prepared for this kind of stuff is great and helpful, but it can still be a little discouraging.

So, what do you think ?