Money Quote Friday – Something Perverse About More Than Enough Edition.

There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes.” ““Unknown

Have a great weekend everyone! I am still on vacationing visiting family for another week, so thanks for sticking around!


How To Save Money On Your Prescriptions.

Prescription drug prices are heading up, just like almost anything else that we all depend on in our daily lives. While some insurance plans do cover popular drugs, but many people still pay hundreds, if not thousands, each month for their medicine. But with a little digging and a little work, there are many ways to save money on the drugs that you need!

  • Go generic. This should be an obvious one, but there are millions of people paying for brand name drugs that are available in cheaper generic versions. Before you leave the doctor’s office, make sure he or she is giving you a script for generic drugs, and if he isn’t, ask why and request that he only give you generic prescriptions when he can.
  • Get a prescription discount card. Although you will have to pay a yearly fee, you could save 20-30% on your prescriptions. There are many to choose from and I am sure some are better than others. Ask your plan manager for information about which one to choose.
  • Get your medicine from the less expensive pharmacies. Wal-mart and Target now offer a lot of generic prescriptions for $4 or $5 dollars a month, and although I don’t shop at Wal-mart, I am glad they are helping out those who cannot afford their prescriptions.
  • Ask for free samples from the doctor. When I was going through a bad bout with hives, my doctor gave me $500 worth of steroids…for free. They were a sample pack of something not available in generics yet, and they did their job. It never hurts to ask.
  • Order your medicine through the mail. If possible and if your insurance plan covers it, ask your doctor for a 90 day prescription, and then check with your benefits manager at work as to where you can get scripts by mail. Take a look at prescription benefit managers online like Medco and Caremark.
  • Take a trip to Mexico. I didn’t tell you to do it, but medicine is definitely cheaper down south.
  • Stop taking them. This is, of course, not for those medicines that you NEED. I am talking about making lifestyle changes that could take you off the drugs. If your high blood pressure is from sitting on the couch each night eating Doritos, then maybe you could get some exercise and eat an apple. Just a thought – it’s much cheaper to exercise and eat right than it is to pay for medical care!
  • Order them from Canada. Sure, the legality is questionable, but if I had to have a medicine that I could not afford here in the States, I would definitely either order it from a Canadian pharmacy or drive over the border to get it. There are even bus trips for seniors to get the drugs they need, which is just shameful that they even have to do that to afford them.
  • Ask for assistance from pharmaceutical companies. Many companies have programs in place to help those with affording the medicines they need.
  • Search for natural alternatives. There are many natural herbs and foods that do the same thing that some drugs do, so it might be worth it to check with a homeopathic doctor to see if there is one that will work for your condition.
  • Have your doctor prescribe you higher-dosage pills and split them. That way, you get double the amount of medicine for the same price. If you require 100MG pills of something, ask if he or she can prescribe 200MG pills instead, and just cut them in half.
  • Put some money in a flexible savings account, which is money put aside for medical expenses BEFORE taxes, saving you a little bit of cash for things you are going to have to buy anyway.

So what am I missing here? Anyone have any other ideas for saving money on prescriptions?


Fighting Your Debt, From The Small Steps To The Big Picture.

Some people talk about “˜climbing out of debt’ like it’s a pit, while others say they’re “˜buried under a mountain of debt’. Either way, the top can seem a long way off when you’re right down at the bottom, peering up at the promise of a debt-free future.

Perhaps the most off-putting thing about our debt problems is the sheer scale of them. It’s hard to stay motivated long enough to reach the top, unless you learn to:

  • take it one step at a time
  • appreciate what your sacrifices are achieving
  • stay focused on (but not daunted by) the big picture.

This should make it easier to stay focused, leading to a “˜virtuous circle’ of better results and higher levels of motivation.

One step at a time

Let’s say you’re paying off four separate debts: you’re managing the minimum payments and overpaying wherever possible.

Whether you focus those overpayments on the highest-interest debt or the smallest one, you’ll probably make better progress if you focus on realistic, short-term goals.

Make sure you write down exactly how much you owe at the start, and set yourself concrete targets. If it helps, draw up a ticklist ““ things like:

  • 10% of my entire debt gone
  • $500 paid off this debt
  • only $1,000 left on this card
  • just three debts left.

When you tick something off, reward yourself.

Appreciate your sacrifices

Eating out, buying CDs, taking holidays”¦ whatever we want to spend our disposable income on, it isn’t easy to give it up, especially when each small sacrifice has such a tiny impact on the overall debt. Denying yourself a luxury once or twice might not be hard, but doing it for years takes a lot of discipline.

So keep track of the sacrifices you make. More important, keep track of what they’re helping you achieve. If you stay away from the mall or turn down a night out with friends, figure out what you would have spent, and put it aside there and then, whether you’re moving numbers between bank accounts or putting real cash in a box.

You’ll be able to say things like:

  • “Not going skiing last week let me pay off 20% of my credit card bill.”
  • “Not going to the bar tonight will take my overdraft down under the $1,000 mark.”
  • “I can pay my dad back if I just take a smaller holiday.”

The Big Picture: life after debt

In the days before debt, your entire disposable income was yours to use as you saw fit. Next time you’re tired of economizing, just picture how good it would feel to be like that again.

However good it feels to go shopping, buy music, eat take-aways, and so on, being debt-free is sure to feel a lot better. So remember that every single luxury you give up is taking you one step closer to a debt-free existence.

The closer you get, the better you’ll feel, so set yourself targets and stick to them. When your debts are gone and your savings account’s looking healthy, you’ll be glad you did.

Guest post written by Melanie Taylor


Money Quote Friday – Pleasures Are The Cheapest.

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.” — Thoreau

Keep that in mind every day when you think buying “stuff” will make you happy. As you probably know, I am away for a while but there will be a few posts next week to keep you occupied. Hope you guys have a great weekend!


Saving Money The Easy Way.

I will be on vacation for a little bit, so while I am gone I will be taking a break from posting every day while re-running some older posts you may have missed. Want to write a guest post for publication while I am gone? Email me or use my contact page to get in touch!

Back when I was in the hole of tens of thousands of dollars, I still managed to save money. Was it the best decision? Probably not – if I had sent that money to my debt I could have been debt-free earlier (if, of course, I had stopped spending, which I hadn’t). But still, I am glad I did it as having some savings in the bank is always a comfortable feeling that can stop you from whipping out the credit card at the first sign of trouble. How did I manage to save money while still carrying debt and trying to pay it off?

I took 10% of every dollar I received and put it in the bank.

This was before I paid bills, paid myself, moved money into retirement funds, etc – I took a clean 10% off the top of every single dollar that passed through my hands – and put it in a savings account. You would be surprised how quickly 10% of everything you ever touch can add up! Still to this day, even after my credit card debt has been paid off, after putting money aside for retirement (not as much as I should by some standards, but I still do it – I also believe in living my life), after taking 25-30% out of each check I get to pay my taxes (the life of a freelancer!) and after putting as much as I can towards the new house fund, I still do my best to put 10% of every dollar into our general fund.

Saving money frees you from having to worry about money.

When you have savings, you don’t have to worry about a flat tire. You don’t have to worry about replacing your broken air conditioner. You don’t have to worry if you kid gets a cold and needs to go to the doctor. It doesn’t have to be a ton of money in order to make you feel a little more comfortable – just having even $1,000 set aside for emergencies can help you sleep better at night. 10% is not much, and chances are that you won’t even miss it once you get into the habit of setting it aside. To help you save 10% of every dollar that crosses your path, try these ideas:

  • If paid in cash, immediately take 10% of the total amount, put it in an envelope, and set it aside to be deposited in the bank. Putting all the cash in your wallet guarantees that you will spend it all before you can save any of it!
  • If paid by check, deposit the check inside the bank to your checking account, and if you have enough already in there, have the teller transfer 10% of the check amount over to your savings. Alternatively, if you deposit it in the ATM, don’t be so quick to press Exit after the check goes in. When the machine asks if you want to do another transaction, make sure you say YES and then do a transfer of 10% of the amount from your checking to your savings.
  • If you are receiving money by direct deposit to your bank account, make sure you watch for when each deposit clears and immediately take 10% of the amount and put it in savings. This also helps you keep an eye on when and how much money is being deposited directly, which is sometimes hard to monitor if you are not paying close attention.
  • For payments received through a service like Paypal, I always immediately transfer 10% of each deposit to a savings account outside of Paypal. For the rest of the balance, I either pay myself to my checking account, or send it to my housing fund or my taxes fund at ING.

The key to saving money is to make it so you don’t notice it happening. Getting into the habit of immediately putting aside 10% can really add up to some serious savings, and after a bit you won’t even notice the “missing” money. But it sure will come in handy should you need it; being able to pay cash rather than using a credit card is a very freeing feeling!