[-$98,865] My $100 Stupid Tax and Other Pains

stupidtax

I know. Long time, no post. I’ve been busy at work this week. I haven’t gone to the gym in the past two days because of work, but I will be there in the morning…with bells on.  Kettlebells, of course. Ok. Sorry. Heh.

exercise_3057052b

Gym Update
I’m still sticking with it. The self-conscious struggles with being the slowest and weakest person in the room who often needs modifications are still there, but I’m keeping at it.  Last week, the doubts got to me so badly that I half-assed one of my workouts. Afterward, I got upset with myself for doing that. I went back the next day, ignored what others were doing, and crushed my workout. I gave it everything I had, which wasn’t much given how weak I am, lol, but still. And the instructor noticed how much I pushed. I felt great when I stumbled out of the doors.

I know it’s too early to see any physical changes, but I’m looking forward to seeing myself in the mirror with less fat.  Speaking of which, if you’re looking for fitspiration, here is another article showing before and afters of women who decided to get fit. Wow! Who knows maybe I’ll have one of those transformations. I’m going to take a ‘before’ picture for my own personal records.

Interest Rate Increase
Hold on to your hats. I got a notification yesterday that my variable interest rate is going up… from 3.42%  … to 3.48%.  The LIBOR has increased. I don’t mind, because it doesn’t affect my minimum payment.

money like water

Spending Money Like Water
Ok, my spending hasn’t been totally careless, but I have been doing a lot of it. As a result, I only made a small payment a week ago to cover interest ($322) on my debt. In addition to overspending on food, my perpetual trouble area, I’ve also spent a lot of money on health maintenance and travel stuff.

My health budget is low because of spending on gym fees, clothes and a new pair of running/walking shoes. I just got the shoes today ($140). They are highly rated and I and hope that the heavy cushioning relieves some of my foot pain.

I bought a piece of luggage ($140) for my travels. It was on sale – 40% off – and will serve as my one and only suitcase for my trip. I bought $100 in local currency to have on hand when I get there. Next, I bought a $40 international roaming plan from my phone carrier to use while I’m out there. It’s more for piece of mind. If I need to use data for maps, or apps to get around, or need to call someone for help or coordination, I won’t get slammed big bill when I get back.

I’m also planning to do some intra-country travel while I’m there so I paid for transport to another city and lodging. Not everything has hit my Opportunity Fund yet, so the savings in that account will go down over the coming couple of months. I don’t like seeing the numbers drop, but they are sinking funds; that’s what they are there for.  I’m sooo looking forward to my trip. OMG!!!

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The $100 Stupid Tax and the Dentist Dilemma 

My mobile phone rang. I was at my desk at work, so I answered quietly. It was the dentist office, reminding me of the appointment that I had with them in less than two hours and asking if I could confirm that I would be there. What?! Ugh! I’d totally forgotten about the appointment! Sigh. No, I would not be there. I couldn’t just walk out of my office. Bam! $100 missed appointment fee! That was my stupid tax.

That was bad enough, but they didn’t give me a choice of how to pay it. I assumed they would charge my card, but I just noticed that the $100 was taken from my HSA, which I didn’t even know they had access to, and which I did not want to happen. I’m so frustrated with these people.

Years ago, I went to this guy to have a lot of major ($$$) specialized work done when I lived in this area for a brief period. I had a very good experience with him. His work was high quality. I moved away and lived elsewhere for several years. I had few dentist visits for the next several years because of lack of insurance. When I did get access to dental care, other  dentists routinely complimented his skill when examining my teeth.

dentist tooth

When I came back to this area I sought him out. During that time of low dental care access, I only had a couple of cavities and quite a bit of tartar. Now every time I go, every 6 months, they keep telling me that I need to have more frequent checkups. They want me to come in every 4 months, because they’re finding ‘new cavities’,  which I think are really just discolorations or other ‘wait and see’ issues, or just nothing at all. They push me to have x-rays every 6 months, because…..reasons.  Huh? Is that even safe? His diagnoses are becoming creative.  I’m seriously thinking it’s just a cash grab via billing insurance companies.

Staff act as though they are walking on eggshells around him. They never disagree with him or question if something is really necessary. They are ‘encouraged’ to push services. Few of them stay around very long. Looking at reviews for his practice online some former patients have had the same experience as me and have gone elsewhere. The 5 star reviews are all from people who had major ($$$) dental work done, like I had with him years ago. Coincidence? I think not. If you’re being a good little profit center, he’s all smiles and charm.

Things change when you’re no longer making him money. He got terse and aggressive with me last year when I pushed back on a pricey treatment that I thought was unnecessary. I was a little shaken afterwards. It’s like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. And now this with this HSA…charge. Can they even do that? I suppose it doesn’t even matter now. They already have. I don’t like that I wasn’t given a choice.

I feel as though I should start looking for another dentist. Sigh. The bad part is that he’s actually very skilled at what he does when the dental work as actually warranted, the problem is that it’s just not possible to know when that is. When did dentistry become such a profit hungry ‘business’? Will it be worthwhile to leave or are all dentists like this now?

Lesson learned? When you find a skilled doctor that you can also trust, hang onto them for dear life. Ugh!

But to end on something a little more upbeat…

smily face2

Fun Around the Internet
I like reading the comments of articles just as much as the articles themselves. You get some good little gems in these spaces, like this exchange below in an article about most unhealthy jobs. (Includes minor spelling edits.)

Hard Worker
on Nov 2, 5:10 PM said:
In the past 40 years I have always worked in two of the jobs in the top ten, and have no health problems from working in them.
my dog  

on Nov 3, 6:09 AM said:
@Hard Worker: Don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon before you know it.

Hard Worker  

on Nov 3, 12:55 PM said:
@my dog: Duh! We all will be dead before we know it. No one has gotten out of life alive so far.

… … True words.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW) [All posts on one page]

12 comments

  1. thecfomom · August 6, 2016

    Totally get a new dentist. My old one did the same thing. Every time I went, he was like I needed 6 crowns and he couldn’t do one at a time. I ignored him each time. Finally I switched dentists and the new one was like, you only need one!

    Like

  2. Isabella · August 6, 2016

    Get a new dentist. I had one like that and dropped him like a hot potato. My current dentist and staff are so honest and above board. I saw him last week, and he told me I am doing such a good job cleaning my teeth that I can opt to come in once a year if I desire. Can you tell us where you will be traveling?

    Like

    • doubledebtsinglewoman · August 14, 2016

      That’s the type of dentist I’m looking for. It will be a project in and of itself to find the right one for me. I will be traveling to a land far, far away from North America. Sorry to be so cryptic. …reasons.

      Like

  3. C@thesingledollar · August 6, 2016

    Yup, time for a new dentist. Sorry about the ‘tax’ (I call it that too when I do something boneheaded.)

    But forget about it — your trip is upcoming and it’ll be amazing. I hope you really enjoy the time away!

    Like

  4. zeejaythorne · August 6, 2016

    My dentist tried to pull that, but I pay out of pocket and put the smack down. She does good work, but the dentist in charge is setting a precedent to bill high.

    Like

    • doubledebtsinglewoman · August 14, 2016

      Do you teach classes in ‘putting the smack down’? I need that for this dentist! Seriously though, I’ll likely just need to leave and find a dental office that I feel comfortable with.

      Like

  5. Cynthia · August 8, 2016

    That’s pretty shitty that they didn’t call until two hours beforehand. Usually they call the day before. It’s almost like they were hoping you wouldn’t be able to make it. So, they could charge the no show fee.

    My two cents: Definitely get a new dentist!

    Like

    • Anon · August 8, 2016

      Yes to this! My dentist leaves a recorded message at least 48 (usually more) hours prior to my appt. Calling just a couple hours ahead to remind you smacks of dishonesty and greed. Today, so many doctors and dentists are under pressure to provide patient satisfaction. There isn’t any reason to hang onto a dentist like this. Drop that loser, DDSW!

      Like

      • doubledebtsinglewoman · August 14, 2016

        Yes. It looks like the consensus is that I should kick this dentist to the curb! And so the hunt begins to find another…

        Like

    • doubledebtsinglewoman · August 14, 2016

      Indeed! It is kinda shady.

      Like

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