Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Friday, January 27, 2012

Things I Waste My Time on (so we don't waste $$$)

As a mom of 10 kids, there are lots of things that can waste my time.  If you are a mom, then I'm sure you could help me name some time wasters like facebooking, blogging, reading, napping, bathing...okay so I'm joking (a little).  (BTW-Have you noticed how FBing seems to be the new letter writing & phone calling?  It is PERFECT for moms because you can pick up and drop it again without offending the other parties because they rarely even know when you have come and gone.  FB is the highest form of meaningful, interrupted communication, especially for mom's of preschoolers! LOL!) 

However, truly when I look at the time I spend disengaged with the kids, (and not for relaxing purposes like listed above) a vast majority of the time is spent managing/scheduling the "things" of 10 kids.  "Things" like well child visits, shots, dental check-ups, vision check-ups, ordering medication refills, appointments with therapists and specialist, equipment (wheelchairs, braces, Oxygen, communication device, Brailler & cochlear implant to name a few) repairs and maintenance, violin lessons, basketball practice, home school grading, and bills. 

Of all these many things, medical BILLS take up the most of my time and specifically incorrect bills take LOTS of time to get resolved.  We get about 16 medical bills per month.  Most months at least a quarter of the bills have some type of error.  In some cases the amount in question is less than $100 and other times it is thousands of dollars.  In addition to being a mom, I have had to become a health insurance benefits specialist!  I've learned to question anything that doesn't look right on medical bills because I have found so many errors that if not found would have one-by-one demolished our budget.

So the FIRST thing I waste my time on is auditing EVERY MEDICAL BILL.  Below is a letter that I recently had to write Freeman Health Systems due to an error that would have cost me over $65.  It took me 2 hours on the phone with insurance and the hospital to discovery why the bill was unexpectedly high and it took me 30 minutes to write the letter.  Finding this error essentially saved our family $22/hr for 3 hours.  Typically, errors take more time on the phone and they are more in the range of $125-$200/hr saved....so I know this waste of time is a good investment!  BUT I dislike EVERY minute of it!  It puts me in a bad mood and I start doubting that hospitals/clinics are making this many "honest errors".  BTW-If you have been to Urgent Care at Freeman, like Corrine in my letter below, watch your bill.  It can save you money.

The SECOND thing I waste my time on is COUPONS and reading all the ads for best prices.  I have been tracking my savings and on average I save 30% with coupons.  This adds up!  In an average month, I save $300 with coupons and $75 with ad matches and going to the stores with the best sales.  I spend about 30 hours a month on this, but I figure $12.50/hr and BETTER quality and healthier foods is worth it!  Plus unlike the medical errors, I don't dislike couponing.  In fact, it appeals to the competitive side of me.  It is kind of like a big game of Memory, except I'm matching good sales with good coupons for a GREAT deal of savings!  For example this week's big score was Bear Creek Soup for $3 in the Big Lots Ad so I price matched at Wal-Mart (usually $3.62) and used a $1 off coupon so I made a 1/2 gallon of top quality soup for $2!  Then I got yummy frozen rolls for $1.25 thanks to a coupon and a Dole salad mix for 30 cents at Food 4 Less.

The THIRD thing I waste my time on is BLOGGING,.....we'll cover it some other time after I figure out some good reasons to keep blogging when I could be sleeping!  Goodnight all!

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