Saturday, August 8, 2009

First the bad news

July and the beginning of August saw us saving less money than we did earlier in the year. Several factors contributed to the slowdown:

1. I started my tooth repair marathon. Yesterday I had a $1000 crown put in; next Friday, I'll have four cavities filled to the tune of several hundred dollars.

2. About two weeks ago, I began to experience short-lived but regular episodes of sharp chest pain. After several visits to the doctor, two EKGs, a comprehensive blood workup, and a test in which I was forced to down a strange mixture of antacid and local anesthetic (yuck - not a drink I recommend ordering up at the local bar), I was diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and put on Nexium. The Nexium costs $162 a month even with my insurance co-pay (I'm working on finding a less expensive alternative).

Anyway, the medical bills definitely caused some hemorrhaging from our bank account.

3. We've been a little less frugal lately. I wouldn't say we're being wasteful - no shopping sprees or anything - but we've been going out to eat more than we were a few months ago. We need to get back to planning out our meals at the beginning of each week.

4. One of our major contracts came to an end. We've found replacement work, but it requires more effort and better time management.

The good news is this:

1. I'm developing a healthier diet to help quell the acid reflux. I'm working on cutting out most alcohol and fatty food. I've already lost some weight as a result. By the end of the year, I hope to achieve my ideal body mass index.

2. I now know that acid reflux catalyzed the formation of my recent cavities. By changing my diet and maintaining good oral health, I hope to avoid expensive dental visits in the future.

3. We haven't taken anything out of the emergency fund (yet).

4. At least we *have* work. I don't always love my job, but at this point, who cares? 

5. Although our savings account is stagnant, we've continued to put money into our 401Ks via automatic deposit. Automatic deposit is the best thing ever. Without it, I doubt we would have saved as much as we have.


  1. Hang in there. We're going through similar crises on a daily basis. Just keep happy!

  2. :-D Thanks, Michael. We are! At least now we have a bit of a cushion to fall back on.