surprise attack.

28 06 2011


a few months ago (at the big thaw actually), i had a heinous allergic reaction that caused my feet and legs to be covered in enormous, swollen, itchy hives (see inset). it was a pretty sexy look, but i figured i’d take  a brief jaunt to the emergency room, just in case.

unfortunately, my hives went away while i was sitting on the gurney in my very flattering hospital johnny. actually, one of the hot doctors (for some reason the maine med ER docs are always super sexy) actually uttered the phrase “wow, i’m watching the hives disappear in front of my eyes”. at which point like 3 more doctors came in, asked me all the same questions, and then they told me to go home and take a benadryl.

helpful.

about a month later, i was pleasantly surprised to get a bill from maine med for a mere $0 for my visit. way to go insurance!

FALSE ALARM.

friday, i got a replacement bill for $362.

fuck.

as you might remember, i was just scraping by last month. and i made it work. i ate dinner at home and had $3 beers! i didn’t have to dip into my saving’s account to pay my bills! but things are still tight. i just can’t afford a big chunk of change like that right now and have any chance of catching up with my finances.

i have a feeling that these kinds of bills (unexpected expenses!) are the kinds of bills that really get people in trouble.  i have certainly been more than guilty of putting off paying a medical bill for as long as i possibly can (usually until they send me the letter telling me it’s about to go into collections), even when it’s only like $8. but unlike that situation, this isn’t the kind of circumstance where i can pay it off indiana jones style at the last minute. i don’t have $362 extra dollars now, and i probably won’t anytime soon.

so what now? Read the rest of this entry »





outrunning the repo man.

18 03 2010

economy, i tire of you.  the layoffs, the foreclosures, the whole hopeless mess. with a good chunk of my friends presently on unemployment, i feel pretty lucky to have a job, but still pretty nervous about the security of said job. economic turbulence = unrest. every day is a new day where the rug could get unceremoniously yanked out from under me at any moment, without hope for the cushy severance packages that people were getting before our little recession morphed into a full on downturn. it’s scary. but obviously scarier for the people who already had their rug yanked and are just trying to figure out how the hell to pay their rent.

but today isn’t really about that. surviving a layoff is a post for another afternoon (probably a series of posts). today, it’s about watching people that you love fall to rock bottom, and not knowing what the fuck to do about it.

so i have this friend who is a freelancer. which is basically code for  no insurance, no unemployment, no safety net at all…  i believe the word roughly translates to: “first person to get slashed when budget cuts are on the table”. back in 2007 before the economy had started to visibly wilt, she was pretty much kicking ass. in high demand, edging up to 6 figures, feeling positive about the future. she bought a moderately fancy car and a condo, and hit the tropics during slow season. then 2008 rolled around, and things started to sag a little.  but, she forged ahead like nothing was happening, attempting to keep up her standard of living while she was waiting for things to pick back up. but they didn’t. 2009 was was the worst. she was able to pick up bits and pieces of work here and there for food and gas the phone bill… but the big boys, the credit cards, and mortgage, and car loan started to fall behind and behind and behind.

fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. she was completely broke and totally freaked out, but she’d been so good. i never once saw her dodge a creditor, and she never stopped trying to find work. there just wasn’t any. so when the repo man came knocking for her vehicle…it wasn’t a surprise. $1,100.

she’s one of the nicest people i know… and i really wanted to give her the money… but i told her that i didn’t have it. even though if she ever read my blog, she would know that i do. i felt terrible, and i still do.  luckily, the fairy tale didn’t end too badly, and she found another more liquid friend to help her out of the financial pinch of the week. but what about the next car payment? or the pending foreclosure? she’s in serious financial trouble right now, and it’s probably going to involve some really serious life changes before the economy even starts to catch up. technically i have the money, but do i really? i have a rule that i never lend money that i can’t afford to say goodbye to permanently. i’ve worked so hard for my little nest egg (which is still pretty sad), and if i let it go, what happens when/if i lose my job?

did i do the right thing? am i being greedy?