Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saving on Credit Card Debt and Medical Costs

Every week Jen hosts "The Weekly Wrap-up" on her blog Getting-Ahead .
Check it out for more great money saving ideas.
Again I'm late getting this post up. There's lots going on lately.
Every week I try to have a frugal week. I do certain things each week to stretch our dollars. This include cooking from scratch, baking bread, hanging laundry, washing plastic bags and packing lunches.
I also keep a sharp eye on our bills making sure everything gets paid on time so we avoid unnecessary late fees. One way I do this is to place them in a red file folder labeled action. I also note the mail by date on the calendar. I do use online bill pay so noting the mail by date makes sure my payments are always on time.
This week I received notification from Capitol One that they intended to raise the interest rate on my credit card 3%. They also intended to raise the default rate to 24.99%. Three late payments in a year(defined as payments made 3 days after the due date) will cause your interest rate to shoot to the default rate. The reason for the increase was losses due to the current economic climate. Interestingly enough they offered me the opportunity to close my account and pay it off under the existing terms of 7.99%.
Since I have a small balance that's what I decided to do. I could have rolled it over to another credit card. I have excellent credit but I think I made the right choice.
It fits with my goal of being out of credit card debt by the end of the year. I'm hoping any dings to our credit report will be short term. Since we do not plan on applying for any loans anytime soon I think it will be okay.
Another thing I did to save money was to ask my medical insurance to extend my physical therapy benefits. I'm facing more knee surgery. My health plan only allows for twenty visits a year. I have 10 left. I asked them to extend me twenty additional benefits. I explained in detail how the extra benefits would assist me in making a full recovery and returning to good health. If you find yourself in this situation, you can check out the back of your explanation of benefits. This should detail you right to appeal and how to go about it. The HR manager at work said that our insurance carrier(who is widely known) grants many extensions. I haven't heard back from them yet. Whether or not they grant the extension, I had nothing to lose by trying. This is an avenue I wasn't familiar with so I thought maybe others could benefit from the information.
Well that's it for this week! Remember 'A penny saved is a penny earned"-Ben Franklin.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I hope you can get the therapy visits covered, I know those are expensive. Thanks for participating.