Michael on December 10th, 2007
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Choosing to be fiscally responsible rather than cheap means finding ways to spend less money without significantly impacting your life. Over the past several days I’ve paid special attention to the little things that allow me to save more with little lifestyle impact. I’ll share one of them with you today.

I was at the doctor’s office earlier this morning. While things are fine with me physically (I make so such claims about my mental state), the doctor recommended that I have a specific test done. From previous experience, I knew that this test would cost me several hundred dollars. (While of course I have health insurance, it’s not exactly the kind I had back when I worked for a Fortune 150 company; along with a $40 co-pay, there are significant out-of-pocket expenses for any tests.)

But I’m not going to mess with my long-term health, even for several hundred dollars. Still, there was a financial opportunity. I explained to my doctor that I had already hit my deductible for the year 2007, and asked him if it would be possible to schedule this test before the end of the year. As he agreed to schedule it quickly, the doctor also thanked me for mentioning this and stated that he had no idea of the financial impact of scheduling the test so quickly had I not told him. I assured him that it wasn’t his responsibility to know my insurance situation.

You: It’s not?

Of course not. Doctors go to medical school, not insurance school.

By having the test done in late 2007, it will cost me 30 percent as much as I would have spent in early 2008. Remember: it’s the same test! A seventy percent savings. That comes to about $560 in my pocket – with absolutely no change to my lifestyle.

Have you already hit your medical deductible? If so, make sure any eligible expenses are addressed before the year is out in order to maximize your cash-flow. You pay for insurance; there’s nothing wrong with obtaining maximum value from it.

Go ahead and take a minute to share any suggestions you have for ways you’ve decreased your spending (and thereby increased your ability to save) without dramatically impacting your life. I’ve got some more I’ll be sharing with you shortly, but please share yours with us! Together we can all live Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck.

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