Monday, March 7, 2011

More Expenses

We've been trying so hard not to spend money right now, we've cut back every thing we possibly can, but we're pretty frugal as it is. I could be better about setting a food budget, but we don't go out to eat at restaurants (not even fast food), Netflix has been put on hold, and we've stopped the automatic monthly payments to St. Joe's. There's nothing else we can not pay unless we don't pay things like the mortgage.

I guess most of this is my fault. I've gotten slammed with necessary trips to the doctor lately: two trips to the Urgent Care Clinic (both of which required three to four prescriptions per visit, including one penicillin prescription per visit), and one to my regular doctor. Fortunately the prescriptions themselves are fairly inexpensive, but it's $75-100 per doctor visit.

I woke up Saturday morning with what turned out to be a rather severe case of tonsillitis. Yesterday the doctor gave me penicillin and some heavy duty pain meds (800 mg ibuprofin and 500 mg codeine), but I'm still in a lot of pain. Talking is pretty difficult, and swallowing makes me cringe. I'm eating soft things only because the strength of the medication makes me a bit queasy otherwise. I can't work, obviously, although I did accept a two-day subbing assignment for later this week.

I don't have health insurance, and I suppose I could just not go to the doctor, but such expenses are hardly frivolous. The Urgent Care Clinic is part of a healthcare conglomerate that offers lower cost healthcare. One needs to have been a resident for three months, which ruled out the first couple of times I was told of this program. However, I haven't gotten a Utah driver's license or ID yet because I don't want to go through the hassle of getting all my paperwork together, getting the ID, and then having to change my name and going through the work again. And after we're married, I'll be on Ed's insurance and I won't need the lower cost healthcare anyway.

My father forwarded me a bill from a lab that had done blood work back in February 2010. It's amazing it took them that long to bill me - and I was sent two bills of a different amount each in the same envelope. We're trying so hard not to spend money right now but something like that I don't want hanging over my head for six months until I can pay it.

When I did my taxes a couple weeks ago, I was very happy to learn I'd be getting a refund of $1,226 - except I owe the IRS more than that in back taxes (since 2003, the year I went back to college, I don't think I've earned more than $16,000 a year, so paying back $1,300 was impossible). Fortunately the refund I was to get this year has managed to pay back all but about $147, a much more manageable amount, of what I owe the IRS.

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