Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 year end review

2013 brought some incredible changes to my life that impacted my finances and debt reduction mission.  I went through a complicated pregnancy that reduced how much I could work but brought home two healthy, adorable (and expensive) additions to our family.  I combined finances with S and worked towards having a unified financial outlook with him (not an easy task and will probably be an ongoing battle for years to come).  I totaled my car which turned out to financially be a good thing even though I don't recommend it as a way to get out from under a hefty loan.  Became a responsible, mature adult (ie. got life insurance, which I think counts as a milestone towards being a responsible, mature adult!).

Through all the financial challenges I only had one goal for the year- no net increase in debt.  I knew there would be some trade-offs such as paying down the credit card debt while racking up the medical debt.  I hadn't foreseen that S and I would finally decide to look at our finances as one big picture.  In order to compare apples to apples I've gone back and added in S' end of 2012 numbers to mine to see if we really did accomplish my one financial goal for 2013...

End of 2012:
Student Loan 1 (My fed loan): $36,284
Student Loan 2 (S' state loan): $21,719
Student Loan 3 (S' fed loan): $5,454
Car Loan: $8,605
Credit Card 1: $0
Credit Card 2: $4,261
Credit Card 3: $117
Misc. small debts (S' small debts in collections): $5,443
Parents: $0

2012 Total: $76,883

And here's were we are today:
Student Loan 1: $35,230
Student Loan 2: $20,800
Student Loan 3: $5,197
Car Loan: $0
Credit Card 1: $0
Credit Card 2: $3,825
Credit Card 3: $3,253
Misc. small debts: $4,284
Medical expenses: $700
Parents: $0

2013 Total: $73,289

Which means we exceed my goal by roughly $3,600!!

And to think we started in Oct 2011 with $101,123 in debt!

Which all boils down to $27,834 paid off!  We've also been building our emergency savings back up and have $100 in savings plus another $200 put away in a savings account for the boys' education/ braces/ band camps/ tattoo removal or whatever other expenses the future holds for them :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The last hospital bill

Since we're nearing the end of 2013 and I would like to have a complete financial picture heading into the new year, I decided to try and tackle the babies $4,200 hospital bill one more time.  After bouncing between the hospital billing department and the babies insurance company I finally had a breakthrough!  Someone at the babies' insurance finally took enough time to really look into the claim denial.  Apparently my insurance should have covered it due to some state law.

So I called my own insurance back and again lucked into a person who was willing to look a little deeper into why the original claim was denied.  Turns out my insurance WILL cover 100% charges!  All they need are the babies names from the hospital billing department because right now the claims look like duplicates!

This is fantastic news for our finances and I'm relieved to be close to the end of the hospital bills.  Even though the hospital bills are not accruing interest, I think I'm going to pay off the balance with our tax return just to be done with the headache!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The twins are 6 months old...

Do you know what that means?  That's right, it means that the hospital and the insurance company have now had six months to haggle over who is paying for what and how much for the birth of our twin boys!  I passed the point of irritation a couple months ago after spending countless hours on the phone with the hospital going over the insurance information and the insurance company going over the boys' information.  Now I just find it sadly comical that this is how our health care system functions.

Anyways, I had really hoped I could end the year knowing how much I owed for their birth.  Is it $500 or is it the full $5000 we've been billed?  For now it doesn't really matter what the number is, the medical debt is not our first pay-off priority and we won't be itemizing so there's no tax advantage to paying it off this year.  But still, I've developed a certain level of comfort in knowing exactly what my financial picture is over these years of debt reduction... ah well, guess I'll have ring in the New Year with more phone calls to the hospital and insurance company!