Balancing Health Care And Medical Debt

Medical debt is a big problem in the United States. 20% of Americans with health insurance found that when trying to pay off their medical bills, they had serious financial challenges and even had to make changes in employment and lifestyle. However, these statistics aren’t all that bad, as trends show a continued decrease in medical debt in recent years, with nearly 13 million people reporting that they have fewer medical problems and debt than they did five years ago. By learning how to effectively balance quality health care and medical debt, Americans can take advantage of the healthcare system without going under.

Don’t ignore medical problems or bills

In order to stay healthy, both financially and physically, it’s important not to ignore any problems, and this includes going to the doctor when you need to and paying the bills on time when they come. Ignoring problems can only make them worse, as is the case with physical and dental health issues that need fixing as well as medical debt. If a medical bill isn’t paid, it will be sent to a collection agency where it will then begin to hurt your credit report, affect your chances of getting a bank loan and possibly be garnished from your wages.

Contact your insurance company

Insurance companies have a lot of work to do in various different departments, which is why mistakes can happen sometimes. If you’ve received a medical bill, be sure to check it to ensure that your doctor’s office billed the insurance company for the right services. If you think there is a mistake, be proactive in following up or try negotiating with them. If you’re being charged an absurd amount of money for a few bandages, you can argue with them about it or contract a company that will do that bidding for you in order to reduce your medical bill by thousands of dollars.

Take advantage of government healthcare

If you find that you cannot manage medical bills with the insurance that you have or that you are unable to find proper health insurance, you can try to see if you qualify for Medicaid, which is a health insurance for low-income residents who can’t afford their medical care expenses. While the requirements for qualification might vary by state, you can contact your local office to see if you qualify and then use your to pay for medical expenses you’ve already incurred, but only within a certain time frame.

Physical and financial health

Staying healthy is an important component of an overall happy life. By ensuring that you have access to and are registered for insurance that covers you when you need to visit the doctor’s office, experience an emergency or need a particular medicine is a great way to keep up with your physical health. Managing the bills you incur will ensure you are financially healthy and avoid medical debt. If you find yourself unable to manage this type of debt, however, you can contact professionals that will help you manage what you owe while also helping you learn how to take care of your finances yourself.

Chrissy Helders

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Top 2018 Apps To Help Manage Your Debt

Student loans are a $1.5 trillion crisis, but worryingly there are also around 1 million people that default on their commitments every year. But it doesn’t stop with student loans, as there are a number of other financial products that are placing tremendous pressure on consumers such as auto finance, personal loans, credit cards, and of course, mortgages. While there are a few simple steps that consumers can follow to minimize their debt, they can also expect some help from technology.

The Most Integral Part of Debt Management: The Budget

There is no denying that the budget is the cornerstone of good debt management. Apps such as Mint and You Need A Budget (YNAB) are quickly becoming go-to apps for those who need to keep track of their monthly income and expenses. These apps provide a number of features that range from basic budgeting to a more in-depth analysis of monthly spend. When consumers can pinpoint what they spend their money on, this can free up some of the cash flow to clear off debt faster.

Spending Habits That Need To Be Controlled

Overspending accounts for many ruined budgets and an increase in debt and the only way to manage this is by stopping it in its tracks. A telltale sign of overspending is a maxed out credit card. Whether this is done through a wild shopping spree or unexpected medical expenses, living paycheck to paycheck is stressful and can be avoided. Apps such as Every Dollar provide users with the means to track their spending and the app can be loaded on your tablet, smartphone or laptop for easy access. Once users are more aware of their spending habits, they’ll be in a better position to reduce overspending on their credit card.

Manage Those Payments

Keeping track of debt payments and outstanding debt can be tedious, considering that the process often tends to be manual. With the help of apps such as Debt Payoff Planner and Debt Payoff Assistant, users have access to a simple overview of their current debt situation. Not only can they track their payments with these apps, but will also be guided along various techniques of getting out of debt faster.

With some guidance from the right app, consumers can manage their expenses more effectively to stay on top of their debt. They will also be able to navigate through their various financial products a little easier and have a greater understanding of what needs to be done to get those outstanding balances reduced.

Chrissy Helders

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Repair Your Finances By Choosing Second-Hand Household Appliances

The nation simply can’t live without their household appliances. 96% of U.S households own a microwave, according to CNN. While, one in four have two refrigerators or more. However, Angie’s List advises that such appliances can cost anywhere from $350 to $8,000. And, with Fox News reporting that a typical American has $38,000 of personal debt, buying new appliances can be a costly expense when times are hard. Therefore, when it’s time to replace your existing appliances or invest in new ones, it’s wise to change your spending habits and seek out second-hand and budget friendly appliances.

Do your research

There are some appliances which are much better value for money when bought second-hand than others. Items such as refrigerators, televisions and ovens are frequently discarded by homeowners long before they break down. According to Howstuffworks, such appliances can last for decades, however, homeowners typically discard and replace them early due to newer models being released or following a home redesign. To ensure that your second-hand appliance is worth the money, research when the model was made so you can determine how old it is and its potential remaining lifespan.

Read reviews 

Once you discover how many years the second-hand gas range, printer or freezer you’re after has, it’s wise to read reviews on the product on an independent review site. Spiegel Research Center states that almost 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, while, Inc states that 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as they trust their friends. When seeking out reviews, look for ones which show a verified purchase as these are usually the most reliable and unbiased. Certain appliances should be reviewed in finer detail, too, including items required for school or work, such as laptops and printers. Before purchasing a printer, consider how much energy it consumes per use, as well as the type of ink it requires. You should also question how many printed sheets you get per ink cartridge to ensure that buying second-hand is more cost-effective in the long-run.

Sourcing the perfect appliance 

When it comes to picking up a second-hand appliance there are a variety of places to scour. The internet is a great place to start and provides multiple options, including auction sites, social media marketplaces and local classified advertising sites. According to Statista, 42% of American consumers have searched and purchased goods online, with 14% stating they prefer the online shopping process compared to buying in store. Alternative options for finding second-hand household appliances include going to yard sales, garage sales, junk stores, charity stores and flea markets.

Securing a great deal 

The great thing about buying face-to-face is that you can see and feel the appliance for yourself. In some cases, you may even be able to test it out. By seeing it’s condition in person and meeting the seller, you have an excellent opportunity to barter on the price and grab an even greater bargain. The Spruce advises that by simply asking for a discount, you can get 10% off in a junk store. Meanwhile, when buying from an auction site, set a maximum figure for the appliance you’re after and make sure you don’t go over it. With The Association of Resale Professionals revealing that one in five Americans buy second-hand, competition can be fierce and it’s easy to spend more than you intended. But, by being strict with the price you’re prepared to pay, it will prevent you spending more than you can afford.

For the millions of American households who are currently in debt, buying second-hand appliances is the ultimate way to minimize your expenses. So, when you’re next shopping for goods for your home, research and review used appliances from appropriate sources to secure a great deal.

Chrissy Helders

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