Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Baby Will Get Sick

Somewhere in my master plan for 2013 I never anticipated that our little baby girl could get sick. On Wednesday the wife had to pick her up from daycare at 10 am. Poor thing had a 103 fever and would not stop crying. Wednesday night we end up at the after hours pediatrician since the fever continued going up. The doctor was very surprised that this was the first time she was sick. She gave us the usual preemie bs, that premature babies get sick more often and that we should consider ourselves lucky. After the usual teething and ear infection diagnosis we proceed to the check out window. Receptionist comes back with the total, sir that will be $175 due to your deductible for 2013. The pharmacy was another $30. You see where this is going. That's over $200 dollars I didn't account for this month and this is why we have Citi.

Normally this is when I post the screen shots of all the charges so you can believe I'm not making this stuff up but Citi is down:

Not sure how to handle stuff like this but I think I need a baby only emergency fund. I think I'm going to set aside another $1,000 just for the baby. But when does it stop? Do I also need a fund for auto repairs, pet care, gifts, appliances? Perhaps I can just create a fund called 'Unexpected Expenses'.

How do you deal with stuff like this? Do you budget for stuff like this monthly?



  1. First of all, I hope baby is feeling better. The truth of the matter is, you are fortunate that she went so long without something. But you can never "anticipate" when you are going to get sick....but you will.

    The was going to happen one way or another. It happens to all of us.

    We have several ING accounts that are labeled "car", "pet", Christmas, irregular, etc. So yes, we save up for everything. If you want to put it all in one account, then so be it. I like my zillion of accounts.

    But pets need food, vet care. And yes, even they occasionally need extra stuff (a new collar, an extra visit to the vet). So have some money set aside. The car WILL need service at some point. The house WILL have something break.

    It is so much better to have money to pay for this stuff than putting it on a credit card and then stressing about paying for it.

  2. Well.. not only will babies get sick, they'll have tons of unplanned expenses in every way, shape or form. I think that just as you and spouse have an account for personal/misc stuff, the baby either needs one or needs to be added to yours.

    For auto care and gifts, it should definitely be a fun, since you know you may have to use it. Most recommend making an educated guesstimate (no shorting or underestimating!), divide it by 12 or your number of paychecks a year, and put that much away. Though I suppose lumping it all into "unexpected expenses" may work, that fund would have to be pretty high.

  3. Ooh, I could bite my tongue but I'm not going to: that diaper bag you bought? Yeah, that one. Could have paid for your daughter's medical care. Now you see what priorities are. She is likely to get sick again because she's so little. Will you stop buying crap so that you have the money next time? I hope so.

  4. YES! My fund is called "unexpected expenses", LOL! And I add $1000/month into it. It covers some anticipated expenses such as Life Insurance, Professional expenses, Clothing, birthdays and Christmas gifts, charity, vision care costs, kids' extracurricular activities and cell phone. It also covers unexpected expenses like car repair, medical, house maintenance and a miscellaneous category for anything that I've forgotten. On top of all that it also covers "nice to haves" such as a small gardening fund, a restaurant fund and a summer vacation activity fund. Everything is clearly detailed so I don't use money earmarked for something important like Christmas, car repair or life insurance just to have a pretty garden or a fabulous dinner out. I've been doing this for 3 years AND IT WORKS!!!

    BTW, it NEVER ends! It just changes but the unexpected expenses will always be there! The best you can do is be prepared.

  5. /dealingwithmoney, bite your tongue all you want but it's not about the money, it's the principle of the matter- I had a plan and something unexpected came up!


  6. Oh yes. Been there, from preterm birth to a round of pinkeye that went through us twice, to the tune of $200. Bronchitis is another costly illness because they usually need multiple meds. Poor baby I hope she is better by now!

    How to deal with it? I do not have specific things earmarked in the budget. My strategy is to put as much as I can in the Emergency Fund. It might not even be every month. But sometimes we have some overtime, or a refund on our escrow account, or a tax return. Over the years I stashed as much of that away as possible.

    When we have a windfall, my first thought is "how much of this can I AVOID spending?"

    I still avoid touching the EF, even when things do come up. If I have an unexpected cost of $500, I consider my budget management a success if I only have to take $250 from the EF. I cut back in other areas to come up with as much of the extra expense as possible from my regular monthly income. If we have something big come up, well, we are not going to eat out as much... or I am not going to buy the kindle ebook I've been wanting.

    But, this is what the fund is for. Pull from that to cover these things. I guess you charged this medical stuff? Pull from your EF to pay that bill in full. Do not carry a balance. You will be headed for trouble again. You are still on shaky ground as far as staying out of debt.

    Take the next couple of months to concentrate on paying yourself and your EF back, instead of carrying a CC balance, which will only snowball if you keep using it.

  7. Babies get sick - A LOT until they are around 7 or 8. Then it starts calming down. They especially get sick in daycare or school where kids are passing around illness like wildfire. Little touch each other all the time.

    Line item - yes. For everything. We withdrew from ING when it changed over, but use our normal savings account tied to our checking. I keep an excel spreadsheet of the amounts of credits and debits. We have over 20 savings line items.

    For the health issues though - you might try signing up for the Flexing Spending Account for Healthcare. It includes all doctors and prescriptions. It is a use it or lose it though. But with well checks, illnesses, eye exams, dental exams - we use all $3000 plus on our family of 6 and none of us went to the doctor for illness last year!

    The benefit is that this money is taken out of your check in equal increments throughout the year, however you have the full amount available to you on Jan. 1. It is also tax free money!

    You may want to check into it for next year - those deductibles will not be such a shock then.