If you've hung around this blog for long you know we've been kind of sort of, mostly following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover for most of our married life. It has served us well to be financially conscious and have a plan, even if sometimes plans get put on hold.
We've been on one of those "holds" now for the last couple years as we regain momentum after our last adoption. Was our daughter worth this detour? Absolutely, 100%! I don't want that to get lost in the translation by any means. As we looked ahead to this year we were excited to know we could right the ship a bit more in this coming year. We've made some huge progress to our financial goals this year already but we have also spent a great deal of the year playing "catch up" on some things. As we entered June I had some high hopes as we'd seemed to catch up and could get back to work on those goals!
If you've read the book or heard Dave speak you know he talks about Murphy's Law. As soon as you think you're going to get started or back on track, Murphy hits. This isn't the first time Murphy has hit our home, and we're getting a little bit better at handling the stress but dude, it is not ever fun to deal with.
It all started with Malachi needing his tonsils out. Apparently it's no longer that simple to get them out and the need has to be justified. That's all fine and dandy but thanks to some governmental changes to insurance, our policy changed drastically in January and to keep the rates low, they conceded in some other areas. One of these areas was raising our copays considerably and deductibles too. You know it must be bad when one of these appointments we took him to they called ahead of time to ask us if we still want to come because they ran our insurance and it was a pretty high copay. They have brought our copay up probably 3 times in conversations with me since then too. So yeah, the cost was raising just in copays but that was okay.
Then we came to the conclusion on Monday that he needs surgery. Okay, no biggie, we had mentally prepared for it by this point in time and knew the surgery would be expensive for us. We scheduled it for August and we'll figure out the finances as we go. It will all work out.
Then Tuesday comes, I had to go to the dentist to get a cavity filled. More money spent, but you know, we can pay that one relatively easy. The kids had been acting a bit off that morning but I didn't think too much of it at the time. By the evening Sabrina had spiked a 105.9 fever. I was worried and knew I needed to call the doctor but I still figured all would be okay and we'd just be told to rotate meds and keep an eye on her. Instead I got a response of we need to take her to the ER now. Alrighty then. I wasn't even thinking about the finances at the moment and thought we had okay ER coverage. The ER eventually got her temp down and diagnosed her with an ear infection (and later strep from our doctor).
Wednesday morning another kid was knocked down so I knew I needed to get him in to the doctor. Another copay paid and more meds given. It wasn't until I got home later and started looking into our insurance plan online that I noticed some pretty significant changes to our insurance that weren't so readily mentioned to us by Peter's employee. One being that we had pretty much lost all of our ER coverage in January (another being that they no longer cover urgent care visits which is a good thing to know!)
In a matter of 3 days, we had gone from being right back on track to now facing some pretty significant medical bills here. Murphy strikes again! Are we frustrated, yes. Am I grateful that all my family is okay - absolutely. I am also happy because I know the financial decisions we've made in our past are helping us to walk into this situation being financially prepared. As we've now worked our way through these steps, instead of this being devastating to us, we're gonna be okay. I would LOVE to be moving on to eating away at our mortgage and working on that retirement plan a bit harder, but for now this is where we are at. We are blessed, we are healthy and we will be rolling through the next goals just as soon as murphy leaves us alone!
I can't say enough good things about Dave's plan and in general just preparing and saving and building towards financial freedom. We've worked hard together from the get-go. Have we made some mistakes along the way, yes. But we're getting it done and we're inching our way along. Obviously having a large family is going to slow things down some, but they are worth it. Getting out of debt and building our savings has already helped us so much in feeling better about our future and reducing our stress. Hard work and short term sacrifice IS worth it!