Here is what has been taking place in the Sangl household from a financial standpoint.
- We have finally received the final bill from the hospital from my hernia repair surgery in June. If I had not had medical insurance, I would have been on the hook for over $23,000 – WITH DISCOUNTS. Since I did have medical insurance, I am obligated to pay the full deductible which was $3,000. If you don't have medical insurance, GET IT NOW! At least acquire major medical/catastrophic health insurance with a super-large deductible!
- My health insurance qualifies for a Health Savings Account (HSA). That means that I don't have to pay taxes on the $3,000 in health insurance costs! If my tax rate is 25%, I would have had to use $4,000 of my income to get $3,000 in take-home pay! I love tax-advantages!
- I recently paid my annual health club membership fee. By paying this annually instead of monthly, I only have to pay for eleven months! Every month I save 1/12 of the annual membership fee and PRESTO! the money is there when the bill comes due! I call it the Known Upcoming Expenses Escrow Account – and you can put together your own escrow account by visiting the TOOLS page.
- My annual life insurance premium and Christmas shopping are also going to happen next month. I am GLAD that I have the escrow account! It makes it SO MUCH EASIER to save for these larger, non-monthly expenses.
- I noticed that ING Direct lowered their interest rate by another 0.10% when the Fed dropped rates this week. Oh well, they are still paying 4.20%! If you have not opened an on-line savings account with ING Direct, you can still get $25 FREE if you open the account with at least $250. I still have a few of those links left. You can click HERE to open your account. NO MORE "FREE $25 LINKS LEFT" – BUT you can still get a great account that is paying 4.20% interest with a minimum balance of $1 by clicking the link at the top right of this page!
- My daughter turns eight in a couple of weeks! Where did all of the time go? I think it is high-time that I review her 529 college savings and make sure we are on the right track!
What financial activities did you embark on over the past week?