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Browsing posts in: Money & Relationships

Taking Control

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Last week I wrote about how my recent research into single moms and money, single moms and debt and so forth had really hit home with me. It opened my eyes to so many things.

I pride myself on being pretty smart, book smart, that is. But I’ve come to realize I am far from healthy as far as mentally and emotionally. The history of abuse, living in crisis mode and just the personality I was born with have created an unhealthy Hope as far as that goes.

But I’m proud to say, my eyes are open now, I’m aware of the problems. And don’t they say, the first step in recovery is acknowledging the problem.

Taking Baby Steps

I’ve got a lot of work to do. Work on myself, work on my finances, work on my decision making and so on. And I know I can’t do it overnight, fix it overnight.

But I’ve begun with some baby steps, some which I think will have far reaching affects.

Physical Self

I have diabetes. This is not really news, it runs in my family and bloodwork last fall confirmed it. But I’ve been ignoring it.

In fact, other than going to a neurologist for unbearable pain last fall, I haven’t been to the doctor in 10 or so years, I guess. Taking care of myself has not been a priority at all. It’s always been about the kids.

I now realize that in order to take the best care of them, and set a good example, I need to take better care of myself. So today I went to the doctor. And I told her, I need help with my diabetes.

Blood work and labs ordered, follow up appointment set. (The good news is that I am officially down 12 lbs since January, and that’s without effort other than changing my eating a bit.)

I am determined to get my diabetes under control, my weight under control and take better care of my physical self.

Mental Self

While writing about everything going on have been very cathartic. Doing it alone is not healthy for anyone. I am seeking counseling to address a number of issues…and I’m sure they will find more.

Readers here at BAD have really been instrumental in getting me to this place. Pointing out things that I didn’t recognize in myself. The tough love.

Things I know I need to work on especially are my: aversion to confrontation, being reactive instead of proactive and a slew of other issues that I have buried deep. I saw this image on Facebook this past week, and had another “aha!” moment.

Financial Self

My reality is that we are a single income family. I didn’t choose it, I didn’t prepare for it. But it’s what we are, and I MUST start learning how to embrace that, choose that and most importantly live within the constraints of that. No one is coming to save us, no one is going to bail us out.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 48% of married couples are two income families. While single mom homes, only 21% have a second income and it doesn’t specify but that may part time. (Click on chart below to see full report.)

Bureau of Labor Statistics on employed household members

The point is that many choose to be single income families despite the hardships they may face in this economy. While I may not have had that choice, it is certainly not insurmountable.

With planning and sacrifice, I don’t have to keep living paycheck to paycheck. Barely making ends meet, and constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Make sense?

I need to study how they do it, succeed at it. I referenced my current studies in my recent post about Financial Realizations.

My question for you, BAD Community, is how do you prepare for something like this when you are already in the midst of it? While the experts say do X, Y and Z before you take the leap…I’m kind of working backwards from that.

What resources would you recommend as I continue to study how to live abundantly as a single income family?  They say knowledge is power and I am ready to be powerful, I have lived far too long feeling weak and in fear.

 


Dental Emergency: Blessing in Disguise???

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If you’re a long-term reader, I’ve discussed the issue of dental work ad nauseum (1, 2, 3, 4 times where I’ve dedicated an entire post to the topic; probably several more times where I’ve mentioned it in reference to monthly budgeting). Long story short, hubs’ has a lot of dental issues. A lot! I’ve now been blogging here 18 months and I think he’s had 2 or 3 emergency root canals during that time. He has lots of other dental needs, too, but he’s got some dental anxiety issues (not to mention it’s -ahem- challenging to get him to take a day off to go to the dentist. Gotta love him!). So he’s mostly been operating on an emergency dental situation basis. Very reactive instead of proactive.

Yes, this is a terrible way of handling things.

Yes, it’s more expensive this way.

Yes, dental health is extremely important and can influence health in other ways, too.

He knows all this, but is a grown man and cannot be forced into something against his will. I know, I’ve tried. ; )

Anywho….we’ve got our latest dental emergency, folks!

A few nights ago at dinner hubs bit into something; his eyes got wide and his face grew pale. My first guess was that a crown had fallen out (he’s had that happen before).

Nope.

His tooth fell out. But not his whole tooth. The majority-but not all-of a tooth. A back molar he’d had a root canal and crown put on about 4 years ago. The one that was repaired in Mexico (I’ve mentioned it here). So there’s no way he can go back and make the dentist fix it. No warranties or anything like that.

Now, while this is enough to ruin anyone’s day, I am choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise. I’ve had a terrible time trying to get hubby back to the dentist. This little issue (ahem – having a tooth fall out!!!) has forced him back to the dentist. Only, now we’ve got dental insurance (YAYAYAYAYAY for the new job!) Hubs has already gone to a new in-network dentist and had x-rays done (something he’s been opposed to in the past) and had a plan drawn up for how to handle his dental issues. The dentist will work in quadrants in his mouth and we’ve already pre-paid for his first quadrant (which will include filling 2 cavities, 2 extractions – one for this tooth and one for a wisdom tooth he’d never had removed, and completing a bone graft for a future tooth implant). Total cost out of pocket is $665. For a little comparison, when I paid to get a filling last year (before insurance), I paid $171. Through insurance, our cost for a filling is only $26 per tooth! Wahoo! What a savings!

Our dental insurance does have an annual per-person maximum that they’ll cover so we’re trying to be strategic about things. But, luckily, they go by calendar year (not actual year; like, July through July since that’s when we got the insurance). So we’ll likely max out their coverage on hubs by December and then be able to start over again in 2016.

Ultimately, this is going to cost us a lot of money. Thousands of dollars. BUT we’ll FINALLY be getting ahead of hubs’ dental problems. Instead of always operating on a reactionary basis (aka:  getting a root canal once a cavity has gone untreated for so long that the whole thing is rotting away), we’ll be able to start rectifying hubs’ many dental issues and getting on top of them before they turn into major catastrophic dental emergencies!

And, fortunately, we had $700 in our dental/health/vision savings account. I just wrote a check for $665 to pre-pay this first quadrant of work. But at least it was money we already had earmarked specifically for this purpose (so it does NOT impact this month’s budget). But instead of saving only a hundred bucks a month or so toward dental, we’ll certainly need to increase those savings on the short-term. Hopefully this means much better oral and overall health on the long-term!

Do you have a partner whose stubborn about going to the dentist? What have you done to help ease their anxiety?


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