February started off as a very depressing month, money-wise. My shoulder was aflame in repetitive-motion-type hurt, so much so that I went to the doctor who referred me to the physical therapist. This was great! Except! According to my insurer, I would first have to pay my deductible of $1,250 before any physical therapy would be covered. Much sadness ensued as I realized that all of the money going toward the Payoff! goal would have to be rerouted to the shoulder project. But my shoulder hurt a lot, so I made the appointment.
Then, on top of that, I wasn’t going to be able to do my tax return until April 4, at the earliest. We were in line for a $1,300 tax credit for installing our heat pump, but the documentation I needed was not going to be sent to me until April 4, despite me having submitted my paperwork in late November. I’m someone who files her taxes in early February, so this was not good news.
Things got better by the end of the month. I pulled $1,250 over from my (now very small) emergency fund to use as a deductible and set a goal in YNAB to fully fund it to $1,250 by January 2019. That way, as I pulled money out to satisfy my deductible, the program would have me pay back a little each month until I was back to fully funded for the next year’s medical crisis.
And then the physical therapy didn’t cost as much as I thought it would. Despite being quoted as around $300 being billed to insurance for each session, when I got the bills, the insurance company would discount them by half and apply other mumbo-jumbo I don’t understand, so the physical therapy was costing me something like $75 per session, not $300. I hate how complicated insurance is, and though I read carefully the EOBs and also have a spreadsheet of my own to understand the system, I still don’t get it.
So, while I wasn’t able to make the full extra payment of $500 which is my goal, I made a bigger payment this month than I thought I would at the beginning of the month. Also, my tax form arrived sometime in late February, which meant I could start on my taxes sooner than April 4.
In February, I paid $595.12 which was my usual payment of $103.67 and an additional payment of $491.45. I was less than $9.00 from my $500 goal! $5.56 went towards interest and $589.56 to the principal.
My money for the extra payment came from $408 budgeted initially, plus $50 in cash rewards from my credit card. I also had $37.00 because I waited to re-up my gym membership until the month flipped, $10 in unused Dining Out money and $11.28 left over in my Random Fun Things To Do category. That adds up to more than $500, but I had to skim some off to pay for the amount I overspent on groceries this month. (That was another disappointing thing.)
My remaining balance at this point is just over $2,000. It is very, very, very tempting to use the last of my emergency fund to pay this off in one fell swoop, but I am going to try hard to stay the course.