Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In The Black, In The Red

Guess what? Instead of raises this year we get one week's extra pay. That comes out to about $600. I certainly do appreciate any extra money and a lump sum is nice for my mortgage plan. Now, I do owe myself around $800. I could pay most of that back but instead, I think I will put $600 towards the mortgage. If I pay myself off then I will feel like I have money and I will spend too freely. With this budget deficit hanging over my head, I might think twice about my purchases.

I went to the bank today to deposit some money and I mentioned that I would have to down-grade my checking account soon. With my current account I am supposed to have at least $15k in all of my accounts including the mortgage. Since I am down to $14k with the mortgage, I am right on the edge of the qualifying mark. They switched it and now I have a checking account that requires $5k or direct deposit. I think I can handle that for a while.

I called the doctor about the $1,300 bill that they sent me. The lady looked up my information and said,"ugh...PHCS". PHCS is my insurance. I burst out laughing because usually people aren't so blunt about my insurance. It seems like everyone hates it including me. She said that my insurance tells people that her office in in-network when it really isn't. Well, that would have been good to know BEFORE I went there. So the lady says that my insurance hasn't processed the claim yet (although I think they have because I have seen the claim form) and I should ignore the $1,300 bill. She says they will send me a second notice in 30 days and then maybe my insurance will have paid it. I don't like ignoring bills but ok, I'll ignore it for 30 days and see what happens. I hope I don't owe any of that money.

And speaking of doctors, I finally have a primary care physician. It was very difficult to find one who accepted my insurance and was located close to where I live. I certainly don't want to have to drive across town if I get sick. I waited for my appointment for a month and was warned that if I didn't show up I would be banished forever. He told me that he leaves 8 appointments open for same-day appointments for his patients. That is exactly what I wanted, access to a doctor when I actually need one. It was worth the wait.


Dave said...

So you got a bonus instead of a raise. Sometimes, that it is a good trade, sometimes it is not. Your bonus is about 2% of your pay, which isn't really too much in lieu of a raise. A raise is a bonus that pays you every year because it is part of your annual base compensation.

Good move noticing that you needed to change your checking account to avoid (presumably) any monthly fees. Over the years I allowed myself to get blindsided by a changed banking situation and other times I saw it coming like you did and avoided any problems. The latter was much better. :)

I have found it interesting how banks will greatly lower the minimum balances to avoid fees if you have at least one direct deposit with them. I don't know what makes a direct deposited payment to the bank so special, even if it is for a low amount.

I don't think you should fret about not paying that doctor bill. If someone from the doctor's office said it was okay not to pay the bill right away (and with good reason), then you are off the hook. I am sure you wrote down the time and date of the conversation as well as the name of the woman you spoke to so you can cover yourself as best as you can.

Daizy said...

Ya Dave, a bonus is only better than a raise if I was going to be quitting soon. Doesn't look like that will happen this year.

Maybe banks think direct deposit makes us a loyal customer because we are too lazy to change it. I don't mind the perks for having it. Don't know what I will do when the job is gone. Go back to a basic account I guess.

I remember that I had problems with this doctor's office the last time I was there, 3 years ago. Had to get my HR person involved to straighten it out. Hope it doesn't come to that again.