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Charge It!!!

August 29th, 2009 at 11:35 am

I remember an old episode of the Flintstones, where Wilma and Betty have gotten the charge cards from Fred and Barney, and they go running out the door hollering "Charge It!" They didn't get ahold of the charge cards very often (nobody called them credit cards then), and they were the key to beautiful, wonderful things that you would never have gotten otherwise. That was probably my first introduction to credit cards. My parents never had any. We were farmers living in a rural area, and even if they had been qualified to get one, there was no place to use one within maybe a 2 hour drive. I don't think that they ever had one until I was grown up and gone. (early 80's) If you needed something, you paid cash, and when you ran out of cash, you quit buying. I have to give many thanks to my parents for that early financial training, I have followed it as faithfully as I could for many years, (ok, not THAT many). So to the real topic of my lament today, Medical Bills. I capitalize because they are a constant source of frustration to me. For years, we didn't have any health insurance, so we were very carefull about Doctor visits, only when we really needed them, and asking about the lowest cost prescriptions, when we just had to have them. And of course, we did have plenty of them with 4 kids. Now we have been covered by Hubbys comapany medical plan for maybe 5 years now, and I know that we pay more now for copays etc. than we ever did before. When we had no insurance, many places would give you a break, now it's like open season. I am always making payments to the dentist, family Dr., hospital for lab stuff, script copays, etc. Just when you get one paid and out of the way, something else crops up. And this is all over and above what they get from the insurance company. Plus, you still have to pay for the insurance itself. OK, enough venting. Back to credit cards, we don't have any. We used to have a Discover card, but we maxed it out at $2500 and it took seven years to pay it off, so we closed it in the middle of all that, and I don't really miss it. We do have a debit card that draws off the checking account, so that works just fine for anyplace that wants a major credit card. BONUS: I get to laugh as I hang up on the all of the telemarketers who call to offer to help you pay off your credit debt. We do have an emergency fund, not 6 months worth of expenses, or even 3, but we have managed to get by so far. So heres hoping that nothing major comes along, and that we have a nice, warm Fall so we don't have to start the furnace anytime soon.