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This Week’s Wins & Losses

by J. Money on Friday, August 16, 2013

broken starbucks mug

You know those weeks when people try to steal your money left and right? And you have to be extra on your game to power through and prevent it all from happening? Well, that was the case this week here at the J. Money household, and not surprisingly it mostly revolved around insurances. (Why is that always the case?)

So this week’s Wins & Losses is dedicated to you – Mr. Annoying Insurance. Watch how I finally beat you and kept my money!! *Evil laugh* (And how you also slipped in a gut punch, you tricky bastard):

This weeks’ wins:

  • Avoided a $630 health insurance premium! HUZZAH!!! I alluded to this earlier in my “how moving saved us money” post, but the long and the short of it is that my old insurance co. wanted to charge me an entire month’s worth of premium when a) I didn’t need it or want it, and b) I missed the cut off to cancel it by 1 day. Because insurance companies suck and never like to tell you easily how or when your new insurance will kick in. As luck would have it though, the day I missed the cut off was a Sunday so I drafted up and faxed a slick “woe is me” type letter explaining I can’t afford to pay two premiums all at once AND that it was physically impossible for me to have canceled it anyways on a Sunday, and this week I officially got the word that it’s been taken care of :) And by “officially got the word” I mean “Had to sit on a phone for 50 mins until I got to the right person in the right department to tell me it has been, indeed, cancelled out.” But all time worth invested saving us over six hundred dollars we really CAN’T just flush down the toilet for nothing. Man they make it hard…
  • Avoided a $150 car insurance penalty! The great state of Maryland told me I was in violation of not having insurance coverage on my car there anymore and that I needed to pay them a $150 fee because of it. And they’d be correct -  I don’t have coverage there anymore because I’VE MOVED TO VIRGINIA!! And I mailed y’all a letter stating so, which I know for a fact you received because you then cut me a reimbursement check for the months I pre-paid my registration for! (See below) Ugh… Another hour down the drain getting it sorted out, but at least I’m now off the hook for it finally… Why can’t records ever align properly in some states?
  • Got two $65.00 checks from cancelling our old state’s registration — I had 6 or so months on it I believe, so MD sent the wife and I $65 each for reimbursement since it had all been pre-paid. Another nice surprise from moving :)
  • Picked up a kick-ass (and cozy!) hoodie for only $5.00 — Thanks Old Navy!! And yeah, hoodie season!!! You’re right around the corner, baby!

So $125 of brand new cash in our hands, and $800ish of unwarranted bills now off the docket from gouging us. If only it was as easy to MAKE $800 by just calling a few people on the phone! Haha…

Now onto our losses for the week, wha wha:

  • Got a delayed $350 Emergency Room visit bill :( I don’t know if I blogged about it before, but we had to take Baby $ to the ER back around Easter (all was fine in the end – just a scare) and apparently my (now old) insurance company finally decided to bill us for it. Which we should have been on top of anyways, of course, but you know how life gets and now we have to finally face up to it all. All $350 happy dollar bills about to fly out the window – booooooo…
  • Broke my ($11) favorite coffee mug yesterday :( For the THIRD time in a year!! Ugh… the things are so freakin’ hard to find too. It’s one of those old school ceramic Starbucks mugs (the really solid heavy ones, halfway pictured above), and I broke this last one the exact same way I did the others too – by accidentally hitting it against the corner of our kitchen counter :( Funny thing about ceramic – it breaks when swiftly hit on sharp corners!

Two problems I’d gladly take over dishing out $800 worth of erroneous bills :) But you gotta have the downs to appreciate the ups!

So that was my week in money – how about yours? What wins and losses did you have the fortune to come across this week? Anything nice and juicy??


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Slackerjo August 16, 2013 at 6:35 am

I just completed a side hustle of dog/house sitting so I could make a bit of spending $ for a trip next week. It’s not something I do very often because it can be a lot of work; the dogs are easy, the house, not so much.

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2 Marissa @ Thirty Six Months August 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

I do the same thing from time to time. I’m so happy for you. Enjoy your trip next week.

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3 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Rock on! I love attaching income streams to stuff we want/need the money for. Makes the hustle to get it that much more meaningful.

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4 Free Money Minute August 16, 2013 at 6:47 am

Mine was a lot of expected expenses this month. I wrote a $1600+ check for summer property taxes, over $1000 for insurance premiums on my home and two cars and over $1000 to pay off last months credit card bill. On a positive note, both me and my wife were paid yesterday!

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5 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Ouch. But much better than NOT expecting it!

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6 a terrible husband... August 16, 2013 at 7:00 am

Way to go with the insurance co. HUZZAH, indeed! All in all, a pretty good week.

Ours was pretty uneventful although we’re buying a house, so I suspect we’re going to have a few surprises moving forward.

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7 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Haha… minor detail ;) Hope the move goes smoothly!

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8 Kris August 16, 2013 at 7:10 am

Closed on Sundays. Nicely done. We close escrow today on a vacation home, so we’ll be looking at getting a big fat check. But since the market’s performance has been crapola lately, the money will offset losses mostly (paper losses) and maybe give our net worth a little boost. You win in one place and then you lose in another. And so the money story goes.

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9 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Yep, even steven!

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10 Sheri August 16, 2013 at 7:28 am

Over 1500 in medical bills from a May operation. Bleh…But, I may have a solution for your mug AND Baby Money, since she is newish and all, and breaking the baby is bad. There are tons of soft-cushion corner protectors for desks and counters, that will prevent toddler and mug injury — and, they are cheap. Many designs are clear so they don’t detract from the pretty shiny of the furniture. Cheaper than a new mug, and an ER visit *grin

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11 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

YES! VERY TRUE!! Those things are actually on our list to pick up here in the very near future – we’re now in full baby proofing mode and there are corners everywhere! It’s funny the things you never pay attention to.

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12 The Warrior August 16, 2013 at 8:09 am

Our big negative hit over the last week:

New yard trimmer – $90 – At least this one is cordless and rechargeable.

Our big positive over the last week:

Visiting mother-in-laws and she sending us home with 2 boxes w/ 300+ new diapers. MONEY!!!!

The Warrior
NetWorthWarrior.com

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13 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Your “big negative hit” – hah!

Btw, your icon always looks like a persons butt and legs :) I’m 99% sure that’s not supposed to be the case, but thought you’d get a good laugh at it anyways. Hooray for new diapers!

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14 John S @ Frugal Rules August 16, 2013 at 8:29 am

Nice work on the insurance, you can’t beat that at all. Sorry about the coffee mug man, my wife has been doing that with her favorite coffee mug for the past year and is being held together with some prayers and super glue. Our money move this week was making some changes to our health insurance that’ll save us about $200/month!

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15 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Hot dogs! Congrats!!

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16 Terry August 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

No wins/losses this week (guess that’s not all bad) but I will say that Old Navy Hoodies rock, especially for the price.

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17 Travis Gasper August 16, 2013 at 9:08 am

Started law school this week. Apparently books are now bound with strands of gold.

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18 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Yikes! But awesome about law school :)

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19 Sarah August 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

Ugh, I hear you on the delayed ER bill thing! My husband had his appendix out a little over a year ago and it took our insurance 9 months to actually bill us the $100 co-pay.

I think there should be a point where a bill is too late and you don’t have to pay it, haha.

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20 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Yeah, me too :)

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21 No Waste August 16, 2013 at 9:53 am

When you’re absolutely convinced you’ve gotten the LAST medical bill…

One more comes in…then you know you’re done.

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22 jestjack August 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

Great job on the insurance and especially on the refunds for the registrations. The funny thing is that Maryland is called the “Free State”….where NOTHING…. is free~….

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23 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm
24 Jake @ Common Cents Wealth August 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

Wow, lots of ups and downs in just one week. Our week was pretty quiet, which is A-Okay for me. I like quiet weeks money-wise.

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25 snarkfinance August 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

I am going to be paying off all the remaining wedding expenses, and so I will also be drinking a lot to numb the pain of having to write an seemingly endless stream of checks. Worth it, though?

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26 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Indeed! Just don’t go into more debt drinking all that numbness away ;)

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27 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen August 16, 2013 at 11:58 am

This week has been pretty even keel. Nothing coming in other than normal income, nothing going out cept the normal bills and such and such. What can I say? It’s been a good week! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

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28 Tara @ Streets Ahead Living August 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm

it’s amazing how being patient and following through on charges can work out. My fiancee once had to make two separate reservations for wedding weekend hotel. After canceling the reservation because the preferred hotel got changed, it turns out that they only cancelled one of the reservations and his reserved credit card got charged for one night. He ended up calling them and explaining the situation and they did reimburse him. He did this all without telling me until it was said and done with and I was so proud!

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29 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Haha… smart man :)

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30 Nick @ ayoungpro.com August 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

It really ticks me off how medical bills can take so long to surface. Just when you think you have paid them all….BAM….another one shows up.

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31 Done by Forty August 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Bummer about the bills and the mug, but kudos on all the savings & cost avoidances. I have a favorite mug, & it happens to be one the ceramic Starbucks mugs that looks like a paper cup, too. I have all these other mugs that I just don’t use anymore…god help me if it breaks.

And now that I’ve said that, of course it will. Have a good weekend!

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32 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I hope not, mug buddy!

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33 Stefanie August 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Good for you for following up and not letting those insurance companies take advantage of you. It scares me to think how much money they make off of people who unquestioningly pay their bills without double checking proper billing or who don’t invest the hour to deal with it.

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34 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Yeah :( A lot of people are lazy or just don’t even realize anything’s wrong and continues to pay for everything. You gotta watch the details cuz no one else is doing it for you!

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35 EL August 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I feel you J. on insurance issues, they always trying to get some of the dead presidents. They are so complicated. That mug looks cool, but I don’t think promoting starbucks being a PF blogger is a good look. Ha Ha. I got a good old boring plain mug, so I don’t get the dirty looks in the streets. Smug coffee drinker look!

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36 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Oh jeez, haha… I used to hate on Starbucks for years and then I realized it was because I was jealous of everyone enjoying them without me and I caved in and have been hooked ever since ;) Now I just call it “prioritization” of my money and that helps me sleep better at night, haha…

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37 Punky Coletta August 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

That insurance thing just reminded me of a time when I got a $90 bill from my insurance two years after the fact. I then spent weeks on the phone with people from insurance who told me to call Walgreens and people from Walgreens who told me to call my insurance. The funny thing about it was that no one could help me because it was from two years ago and they all said that they can’t do anything about something over one year old. And I’m like, ‘so how come I can’t just do nothing with it because it’s over one year old?’ In the end they threatened collections and so I just paid the $90 bucks for something that was probably a clerical error somewhere. I wish I could have made who ever was in charge of all of the ‘no’s eat mac and cheese with me for two weeks to make up for it

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38 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Well that blows. 2 years is crazy!! But I would have done the same exact thing as you to be honest: put in the work to try and get it squared away, but if it’s a no go then pay the money and be done with it once and for all. ESP so it doesn’t screw up your sexy credit!

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39 Clever Dude August 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

well, we had a house fire that would have taken out the whole house if it went a minute longer. Caused by a new gas water heater insulation and very old and very non fire code compliant insulation and backing. In the end, just some 2nd degree burns on all the plumber’s fingers, smelly clothes and a smelly upstairs. Getting reimbursed for the dry cleaning and we were gutting the upstairs anyway

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40 J. Money August 17, 2013 at 11:35 am

OMG scary stuff!! So sorry to hear man, geez… real glad it didn’t get any worse :(

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41 BidAskDividends August 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

Tweet @Starbucks with the photo of the ceramic mug. They’ll most likely be able to sell you one directly or tell you where you can find one (hopefully close to you)

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42 J. Money August 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

Maybe I’d get lucky and they’d ship me a free one too – since I talk about them all the time ;)

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43 stephanie August 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I’m catching up on the week, just chillin’ and I realize (HUGE lightbulb over my head) when you said Starbucks…my darling daughter was registering all her Sbucks cards (ya know, we all have ‘em….25 cents on this one, $1.05 in another) and BAM! Outta nowhere she finds a card in the bottom of her purse with $25!!! So by consolidating all those itty-bitty cards, she ended up with somewhere around $50 in FREE Starbucks!
I, however, did not have such a stellar week. And I’m all about staying on the positive so let’s just say I’m looking forward to this next week.

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44 J. Money August 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

Nice! You can tell your daughter I’d love to escort her to Starbucks any day ;)

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45 Brian August 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I am not sure if actually starting my blog is a win yet, but I did find some time to attempt a few articles.

My wins and losses for the week? They were all attached to each other. It was like the “Facts of Life” theme was silently playing in the background throughout my week. I took the good and the bad in stride, because they seemed to be hand in hand.

My biggest losses were also my biggest wins:

Loss: I put in a monster week at work and worked over 12 hours a day. Missed the family a bunch.

Win: Being able to work a little harder to stash some saving is big right now with twins on the way

Loss: “Wasted” money attempting to take my son to see “Planes”. It was our first try at a movie theater and it didn’t go all that well. He loved the candy, popcorn, and pop. Unfortunately he liked running up and down steps with red LED strips on them more than he likes the “movie experience”.

Win: Took my son to see “Planes”. It was a Daddy & Bryce day and even though we didn’t stay for more than 10 minutes it was still very memorable.

That was my week. Overall very good :-)

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46 J. Money August 20, 2013 at 7:54 am

Awwww, overall very good indeed :) And congrats on starting the new blog too! I hope you get a lot of joy and fun out of it!

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47 Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa August 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm

I ran into similar problems when I moved out of VA. It is such a pain trying to get these records straightened out. Well done!

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48 Pauline @ Make Money Your Way August 19, 2013 at 2:16 am

I buy a few of my daily essentials to make sure I can break/lose them without too much trouble. Don’t know if baby $ has a favorite stuffed animal as well but you should get three of them before the store discontinues and then you can wash one or have one at daycare and one at home without tantrums when you can’t find one!

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49 J. Money August 20, 2013 at 7:55 am

Haha… smart idea ;)

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