Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sluggy's Financial Woes...Maybe, Maybe Not

Besides the negatives of falling down and breaking a limb, which in and of itself is bad, there is another down side.

I am speaking of having to go on short term disability.
I went and looked online and saw that here in PA that means an income reduction of 40% until you can return to work.
That means 40% less money coming in for us, going into 2017.

Hubs talked to HR and what I saw isn't accurate for his situation and his employer, thankfully.  He was told the first month he'll get 100% of his income and then it drops to 70% in month two.
There is a 1 week wait or something where you can't collect until you've been out of work for 7 days(and don't get paid for those 7 days).  Luckily Hubs still has personal days he can use for those days so we won't go without pay for that week.
For now the tentative return to work date is Feb.7th. so we will have a month of 70% less income.

And to have this all to be happening at the Holidays just sucks.  It's a good thing that I have bought ahead for Christmas(and all that is already paid for)and haven't put any recent Xmas expenses on credit cards that I can't pay off monthly in full.

Hopefully Hubs last paycheck for December which arrives this Friday won't reflect any reductions yet.

On the bright side are two things(well one has a bright side, sort of)--
It wasn't a worse injury and Hubs will fully recover and be able to return to work and his nice salary.
The other bright side(sort of)to all this is that we have not only met our deductible but maxed out our deductible with out of pocket for medical co-pays for the year.

No, not satisfied the high deductible(that happened in about March).  We have hit $7K in medical deductibles and co-pays out of pocket for 2016 so from about mid November forward all the medical bills/prescriptions/DMEs/etc. have not cost us one penny more.
This means it's fortuitous that Hubs broke his leg this month and not in January....if you can call breaking one's leg fortuitous. ;-)

Add that $7K to the $5600 we have paid in insurance premiums this year and we are out of pocket $12,600 for medical costs in 2016.

Until Friday when I see the paycheck I can't be confident that I'll be able to achieve my Savings Challenge goal for 2016.
Between our expenses this month, a possible reduction in income and having to hold back a percentage of whatever is leftover after expenses are paid for December to help cover the High Deductible of our insurance policy(before they pay anything)which rolls over January 1, I am crossing my fingers we can meet our savings goal for the year.  It will be close if we do make it. ;-)

With my prescription costs in January alone and Hubs beginning physical therapy in January plus Daughter's medical appointments that month, we will hit our high deductible in record time in 2017 and I predict we will max out our co-pays before 2017 is over as well.
Not something to look forward to but it is going to happen.

Between this possible short term income reduction and other financial changes we might be undergoing next year(that aren't set in stone and I am not at liberty to talk about yet)I really can't sit down to finalize our 2017 Household Budget like I had wanted to by mid December.

I had planned to make 2017 the Year of Austerity Spending BEFORE Hubs' accident happened.

What with 2 more adults living here and us basically paying their living expenses(rent, utilities and bulk of food costs) for the next 2 years so Daughter can finish her degree, our basic costs have gone up and will continue to be higher.

Once December is over I can see actually how much more their living here has cost us over the last 6 months and make plans to adjust how and where the spending happens.
I had planned on cutting back on categories and putting the fear of MOM into these kids when it comes to wasting water/electricity/food.  Yes, they need to be more aware of what/how much they are using.
A short term income reduction brings this point home even more now.  Plus the fact that Hubs will be retiring shortly(could be in a year, could be sooner now)changes will be coming whether they like it or not.  Once Hubs retires we can't sustain the current level of spending on our retirement income(not until Social Security kicks in anyway but that won't be happening until well after he retires).

And on the bright side.......
We received a refund of car insurance on Monday, finally after cancelling the car coverage in September!

I will attempt to NOT spend this all in one place.
Though I could do some damage at Rite-Aid with that pittance. ;-)

We are thankful for good medical care and insurance coverage and an income to pay for it all here at Chez Sluggy  today.  You never know what life with throw at you but by planning and handling your finances well, you can help your chances of surviving the shit that happens.

No matter what comes our way in the future I know we will be ok. 8-)



  1. I'm sorry to hear about the increased outlays for healthcare. It sucks when it's not something fun (a vacation, splurges, etc), but as you said, all of your careful planning from previous months and years helps you to be able to cover these issues. It's great that your husband's employer will cover him at 100% for the first month. I will be sending speedy recovery thoughts your way, and wish you luck that your last paycheck of the year will be just enough to push you over the savings goal. Hopefully no "jelly of the month club" Christmas Vacation moments. ;-)

  2. Glad your hubby is going to fully recover. I understand you covering your daughters costs - but her BF? I know there is probably more to it but that doesn't seem very fair. I am thinking about cutting down our monthly grocery budget a little...I've become a bit lazy and not as frugal as I once was with the grocery spending. Thinking of taking it from $550 (includes OTC meds/cleaners/personal products) CAD to $500. Still tossing it around.

  3. Oh, how I needed to hear this. Every now and then I feel worn down by my kids' not understanding our austerity measures in light of our apparent financial abundance. Their friends' parents are no help, with comments like "It's not like they can't afford xyz." (Yeah, refuse to pay for school lunches, pta membership, 20 minute showers,ASB cards,and any number of things, and you are deemed a lesser parent.) I was really feeling alone. Thank you.
    That said, happy solstice. Though I don't know you, I wish you the best this season and all year long. I hope your husband mends soon. Don't forget to take care of yourself, too on this journey.

  4. Makes me glad I got short term disability insurance for myself since I am the one with the job that carries the medical coverage. It sucks that you had to lay out all the cash. When will medical coverage make sense again?

  5. Sluggy, glad that you can weather this unexpected storm, that said, my 2 UNSOLICITED cents (so feel free to delete this) is that it's time for a brutally frank family meeting. Do your homework, check the math and lay all the cards out on the table. "Dad and I used to count on spending $X and saving $Y every month. With Dad's accident and associated impact (give details), we are now at $x and $y. Add in the cost of having the couple join the household $W and how much it has impacted your and DH's financial picture/plans. Tweak your budget, come up with a revisez plan. Doesn't have to be all grim: share what you need the couple to do to help the situation rather than hurt it, to lessen their impact. We're talking 20 y.o. kids, no? What can they do to facilitate? can they be more energy conscientious? reduce if not eliminate any/all food waste? change cooking/heating/showering practices (use a toaster oven/Crock pot, wear a sweater and lower the thermostat, shorter showers etc). What can they do, service wise, that you pay for? Cooking? cleaning? prepared foods? shoveling? lawn mowing come Spring? etc. I get that you want to support your DD and to see her finish her education, there STILL, however, must be some buy in on her part, not to mention the BF, who I don't recall being a student. Like I said, delete and tell me to MYOB. Carol in CT

  6. can you husband work from home while he recovers so he's not technically "off work"?

  7. Come on you have to love having the kids with you. Messy bathrooms, crap left in the kitchen after a sandwich, drinking the last of the milk you needed for dinner. How they pitch in and just do chores without you asking them. All things to be thankful for. Okay I will stop now.....

  8. Your husband is SO blessed/lucky to have you for his wife! You should have him do the coupon clipping while he's laid up... ;)

  9. I am sorry this is happening to you, but what a prime example of why you monitor spending and budget as you do. Life can change on a dime-even one missed paycheck can send a family with no savings into financial ruin because of the ripple effect backed up bills cause. I won't say you are fortunate-you planned well, and share your knowledge with others so hopefully we all can make similar steps to ensuring a hit in finances does not cause long term damage.

    1. I totally agree with SAM's comments. Sucks, but a girl has to protect herself for these type of bumps in the road.

  10. Not that there's any good time for such an accident but it's such a bummer that it happened so close to Christmas.

    The fact that you've already taken care of Christmas spending though is something to be proud of and I have to giggle a little when you talk of "coming close" to your 2016 savings goal. Sluggy, you rock! Your medical expenses this year have been horrible AND you're supporting two extra adults. "Coming close" to your spending goal is AWESOME!!! You're my hero (as usual).

  11. Geez, Denise. I am so sorry you are going through this. I totally understand. Been there. Done that. Look on the bright side: your hubby will get some disability, some money coming in. My hubby was self employed when he had his heart failure. No help there.
    I do have one word of advice, for whatever it's worth. Two things: don't expect your kids to help out. They (mine) just didn't 'get it' or 'understand'. They see mommy and daddy as Mr & Mrs Money Bags regardless of how we (I) cried and moaned we weren't.
    Lastly, from my experience, once bad luck hit us, it was like a rolling stone gathering moss. One hit after the other. Luckily, I got it under control BUT I wouldn't recommend anyone living like I have to right now. It's a little bit scary (but doable). I don't know if my husband will ever return to work. He has his good and his bad days. In the interim, till we get our financial house in order, we're on a fixed income and I hate it! And we have another 9 months to a year to go till that financial house is in order. UGH!
    That's it. That's my two cents. Thankfully you have a savings account. And this is the scenario that Dave Ramsey always talks about. Things are running along smoothly and then, wham! a health problem, a layoff, a car accident....something tilts us off course.
    Hang in there. You guys are going to be just fine!
    Peace & hugs [[[[]]]]]]

  12. I am sorry this happened to Hubs and you. If you don't make your goal,you certainly have a good excuse. But I feel you made your goals no matter what. You have saved an enormous amount of money this year by being as frugal as you wanted to be and you should be very proud of that. You have saved all of these years so that you can weather this "storm". But most importantly you have been a terrific wife and mother. You brought your daughter back home when she needed you. You are giving Hubs all of the care he needs. You are holding down the fort for everyone. That said, I agree 100% with CT Mom. You need to sit the kids down and have a talk. They need to know that you could use their help right now. You don't have to go into financial numbers but just let them be aware of how they impact the household and what they could do to help. I know as a mother you always put your needs last but this time they need to help. Just ask.

    I really know how you are feeling. My Hubby got hit by a car while walking and was laid up for months just a month after changing jobs, three months after buying our first home, and two months after I had a miscarriage and had quit working. At the time I was scared to death because we had very little touchable savings having just put almost all of our money as the down payment on our home. Hubby had 1/2 pay coming in and fortunately we had health insurance. We made it through and you will to. God Bless you and your family. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a truly Blessed New Year.

  13. I am so sorry to hear that your husband broke his leg! What bad luck, but like you said, at least it was good timing if it was going to happen. I hope that 2017 brings you better luck and less medical bill! I hope your husband heals quickly and can get back to work soon. Good luck!

    Joshua Duncan @ Focus Insurance Atlanta


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