Hello and welcome to my $$$$$$$$$$$$ blog
A few months ago, I went through something really terrible that negatively impacted my physical and mental health. As we were preparing to leave the hospital my husband and I, were both worried about the cost of health care. The question at the back of our minds was: How much would we have to pay for this amazing lifesaving health care that I had just received? At the time I had a few other big expenses on the horizon. I am a financial guardian to my nephew and niece who were both in school. My niece was actually heading to university, and the bill for her education was going to cost about $5,000 (USD) annually. I am also a primary provider for other family members abroad so needless to say money issues were top on our minds.
I logged into my hospital account and saw that the care I received was just under $24, 000. I decided to call our health insurance to get a sense of what we might have to pay. I trust blue cross blue shield so much now. The customer service lady was very nice. She looked over my medical history and the first thing she asked me was how I was doing. Then she asked if the hospital had sent me a bill. I said no, I was just checking. She said okay and explained that the hospital should not send out an invoice for at least 90 days. I was relieved to hear this. She affirmed what I already knew that the medical bill was $24,000 then she said I had no reason to worry. Given my health care plan, I would pay no more than $250 out of pocket. I had assumed that this would be the case because OBVIOUSLY, I had read all my medical documents and benefits packets a million times. At that moment I was happy to have had the foresight to choose a relatively pricier plan (it cost me an additional $300 a year) and ultimately saved me about $2,000.
Since then I have been thinking actively about financial literacy. I am a professional, I am educated if having a doctorate in political science counts but many financial things confuse me. There are business decisions that I have made (or not) that have been costly. In my work, studying migration and remittances, I often have conversations with fellow immigrants about money. In most cases, folks are anxious about debt, retirement and making ends meet for themselves and their families.
I am having been really grateful for all the money bloggers out there especially women and people of color – special shout out to thefrugalphysician, immigrantfinances, paychecksandbalances, and the budgenista. There are plenty more bloggers out there – I will share a comprehensive list laters…
In reading these many blogs and a ton of books (I love most of the ones of this list) it occurred to me that most of the authors and speakers are people who have made it. They have made their first million, their finances are in top shape, and so now they are sharing past experiences. I am glad they generously share their financial knowledge. However, hearing from such accomplished people can be intimidating. I am hoping to bridge the gap by writing about money on my path to physical and mental healing. I am not a millionaire; I do not make a six-figure salary- I am just an ordinary early 30 something professional – professor looking to discuss money issues and provide guidance to younger immigrants. Hopefully, they can learn what we missed and have an easier time at it so here we go…
Agh, my husband, said I have to mention this – I also started a business using my credit card during graduate school. I ended up with $33,000 in credit card debt at a 24% APR come back for the full story and please do not laugh at me.