Dental work, it costs gads of money and benefits only pay for 50-80% of it depending on the procedure. Last week was my first visit to get some cracks and chips filled before the official root canal. It was a fun visit; I had the majority of my mouth frozen. It was awesome.
I think the hygienist and dentist thought it was pretty awesome too. Or, possibly, they just thought I was completely off my rocker. After getting the freezing, I could not stop giggling. Yep, I was a giggling ninny. It was a goofy feeling having the lower half of my mouth feeling as if it was twice its size. My tongue felt it was four times too big for my mouth. Creepy. Giggling and drooling anyone? Apparently most of the time, people just cry or scream like a little girl when getting the needle for freezing. Not me, I had to laugh my way through it. I guess drugs will do that to you. I wouldn’t know cuz I have rarely taken any prescription medication in my life or any other drug for that matter.
When I was handed the $489 bill, I was still in such a jovial mood, I handed over my Visa and welcomed the additional travel points. This is just a prelude to the probable $4000 that will be coming out of my pocket until I am reimbursed (probably an average of 75%) from benefits. I’ll fix that calculation later, when I have all the numbers. I might cry by the end of August after seeing all “the numbers”.
Knowing that August would be an expensive month, I thought I would add to the monetary drama by going to the spa on Saturday. Hey, if I am going to have teeth drilled out of my head, I’m going to look good while doing it. Kidding of course…I don’t give a rat’s ass how I look for the dentist. Just fix my teeth please!
The salon/spa visit was long overdue. My hair was so long, I was starting to look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, minus the beard. The first thing out of my stylists’ mouth was, OMG! Your hair is soooo long! The grey hairs had to be covered up too, I don’t have many but I don’t like them. I had a squiqqly white one right on the top of my head that was an antenna. I was receiving signals from strange aliens I think. I put a stop to that by yanking it out of my head before I got to the salon. I couldn’t stand it anymore – not the aliens, just the lone white hair. I would pull my hair back and it would stand straight up from the top of my head.
Like most females, I enjoy going to the salon and spa but I am no addict by any means. I usually go twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The only other occasion is before a vacation. You can easily get carried away getting your hair cut and colored, waxing, and manis and pedis. This trip cost me $342.00. I have not been since December of last year.
The August Money Stampede:
$489 Dentist month to date ($4000 total spend likely)
$300 minimum for August Volunteer Vacation (as I endearingly call it)
Moral of the story: It is important to have an Emergency Fund as a backup. You never know what major expense may come up, especially where your health and wellbeing is concerned. I will be relying heavily on my emergency fund to pay for the dentist visits.
Tips to avoid a major Money Stampede:
- Determine what your employer health benefits are and how much you will have to pay out of pocket for visits.
- Factor the leftover amount after benefits into your budget each month and sock it away into a TFSA or Emergency Fund. For example, I have $33 each month that goes into my EF for dentist visits. I took the average of after benefit spending over a year, took that total annual amount and divided it by twelve months.
- If you like annual or semi-annual visits to the salon and/or spa, do the same! Take an average, factor it into your budget and invest it in a TFSA until you need it.
- Negotiate with your dentist or doctor. Many of them will offer a monthly payment plan that auto bills to your credit card and you pay no interest! I did this five years ago when I got my braces. I didn’t have $3000 to pay up front, so they split it up and billed my credit card a monthly installment interest free.
- Only rely on your credit card if you know you have the funds to pay the bill. 19.9% on top of the dentist bill is just a moronic thing to do.