Medical Bills, Haggle them down!

A few months ago I was in a pretty bad car accident. I totaled my car but fortunately God was looking out for me and I sustained pretty minimal injuries. During the course of the settlement I learned that most medical centers and physicians offered reduced payment options for paying quickly or being classified as self pay/uninsured. Since the other driver was liable, his insurance reimbursed me for the full cost of the medical bills. After I was reimbursed I simply called the billing center for each bill and asked if they offered bill reductions for self pay. Each time they promptly responded with a set percentage like it was standard procedure. Below is what I saved.

I saved nearly $1100 by simply making a few phone calls and asking to pay less!


Switched to Index Funds

I switched the majority of my 401k contributions to index funds today. Currently I contribute 20% of my income, some days I want to contribute less so I can build up more liquid savings but I'm earning more money at work now so it should balance out. Anyways, below is my current contribution amount and the expense ratio for each fund. There's not much reason behind choosing the percentages. I wanted a little in bonds to smooth out the volatility and I wanted some international exposure.

10% Bond and Mortgage Fund  ( .71% Expense Ratio)

40% S&P 500 Index Fund (.18%)

20% S&P 400 Index Fund (.35%)

20% S&P 600 Index Fund (.35%)

10% International Equity Fund (.86%)

That's all for now, if I can come up with a logical reason to adjust the contribution percentages I'll let you know.


Emergency Fund Milestone

Back in February I was in a car accident and my car was totaled. I had insurance but it didn't cover all of my replacement car so I had to dip into my emergency fund to cover the rest. As of today I built my fund back up! I have $6000, which is about 4 months of living expenses.

It's hard just leaving that much cash money not hedged against inflation. I guess I could put it in a high yield savings account. SmartyPig.com has a 1.35% APY savings account which I'm considering and I'm also looking around at money market funds. I'll let you know what I end up doing with it.


401k Milestone

My 401k at my current job reached $10,000 a few days ago. I feel like that's a significant milestone in my journey and I'm excited! I started contributing to that account August of 2010, so it took me 9 months to stock up 10k. Granted, my entire retirement savings is around $16k, but we all like nice round numbers. Also, I think it's a good gauge of what I'm capable of now that I have a plan because during those 9 months I wasn't really focusing on saving.

Ok, I'm done bragging now.


Goals for May 2011

This May I want to:

  1. Save $1500 over and above my 401k contributions
  2.  Do something I've never done on my vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains
  3. Determine my monthly saving requirements to retire early
Wish me luck

May 2011 Net Worth Snapshot

I'm up quite a bit this month mostly due to my accident settlement.