Budgeting for Your Health Care

One of the most difficult things, well, really two of the most difficult things in setting my monthly budget is

  1. Being able to predict the costs of the health expenses of my family for the month/year
  2. Not putting the right priority on including health care in my budget.

Both of these things together have resulted in getting blindsided every year with unexpected medical bills.

Perhaps blindsided isn’t the correct term. I actually kept my eyes closed to the possibility that someone in the family would need to go to the doctor/get sick or injured/have surgery. Then getting that bill after the insurance covered its bit was like having a cold washcloth slap me in the face when I am sound asleep. Not pleasant and it tends to piss me off.

It really pissed me off this year when my family’s medical/dental expenses were just below the allowed deductible and I ended up paying more for my federal income tax. How stupid is that.

All because I did not know how to plan.

After reading today’s post at Quinn’s Commentary, I realized he hit the nail on the head when it comes to planning for health care costs. Folks, it’s more than just paying for health insurance.

Here is that post….

I began managing health benefits in 1961. I have done everything from process claims, design and communicate health benefits, negotiate insurance and TPA contracts to serving on boards of directors of health plans and negotiating physician contracts. I am convinced of one thing with absolute certainty. From the perspective of virtually all Americans health care […]

via Any scheme we contrive will not make health care “affordable.” — QUINNSCOMMENTARY 😇 the facts about lots of stuff

The author links to this post INSURE AGAINST DISASTER, PAY FOR WANTS OUT OF POCKET, SAVE FOR THE END GAME which is another essential read, imho.

After reading these and the linked Forbes article, it is no wonder that unexpected costs of illness or injury leads too many of us to bankruptcy.

To avoid being caught unprepared this year,  I am including fully funding my HSA into my monthly expenses. And eating rice and beans all year.

 

 

Yummy Low Carb Fudge

Back on the keto LCHF way of eating after falling off the wagon, the wagon wheels rolling over me, and, then backing up over me and then moving forward, rolling over me again.

It’s been rough going but, not only am I back up on the wagon, I’m driving the darn thing to make sure it goes the right way!

Always looking for a low carb verson of  my fav foods, I came across this recipe at Maria’s Mixing Bowl.

Yum, yum- fudge heaven! It is so delicious. Best fudge recipe I have found so far.

Now off the find the best low carb brownie recipe.. Anyone find it, yet?

Weighing In On The Scale

After Ma broke her hip, I needed to make the main bathroom easier for her to get around in so she wouldn’t break anything else. I took my scale off the floor to make room for the commode. There was no other place for the scale so I tucked it in on a closet shelf, telling myself that the experts recommend we not weigh ourselves daily anyway.
I had been weighing myself daily and tweaking my LCHF diet and my exercise to see that scale go down, down, down.
Thinking about what I want/need to take with me on the upcoming move and wanting to downsize to pretty much the essentials, I thought about the scale. Should I take it with me? I haven’t been weighing myself daily as I used to and I notice the effect. I do believe I have gained some weight.
Oh, hell, I KNOW I gained weight. How much? I don’t know. The scale is in the closet.
Why do the so-called experts say we shouldn’t weigh ourselves daily?
I think it has something to do with being disappointed if we don’t see a daily drop in our weight and this may cause us to give up on our diet or become obsessed with our weight. Apparently, I could become so focused on seeing that scale go down daily that I become bulimic or anorexic. Fat chance of that! I hate to vomit and I love to eat.
So, essentially, the experts think weighing myself daily will lead to a mental health issue.
Well, my brain is definitely a strong and powerful thing. I can pretty much convince myself of anything I want to.

I can convince myself that I am not putting on weight, despite a nightly date with Ben and Jerry and then be totally flabbergasted when my jeans don’t fit.
I must be convincing myself that I don’t weigh as much as I do because I always get shocked when I see myself in a full-length mirror. Who in the hell is that fat chick?
My favorite sister-in-law weighed close to 300 pounds and every time we went out to eat, she would complain that the restaurants were making the booths smaller. And she actually believed that.
In the case of weighing myself daily, I can allow myself to be disappointed and chuck it all, give up on my diet because the scale is telling me I suck at it. And I have done this many times over the many years.
OR- I can use it as a tool in seeing how well my diet is going. It really is a more accurate and faster tool than suddenly discovering my diet is not going well when my pants don’t fit.
When the scale goes up, I ask myself, why? Too much food? Not enough exercise?
If the scale stays the same, I tweak things a bit. If the scale goes down, I know I am on the right track.
Weighing myself daily is not unhealthy. To me, the scale is a tool. No different that checking my blood pressure or my blood sugar.
And one more thought, Dr. Psychologist Expert, if weighing myself daily isn’t healthy, then it can’t be healthy to track every morsel of food with My Fitness Pal or every calorie burned with the Fitbit.
Conclusion, I am gonna pack the scale and take it with me.

A Six Hour Work Day

The New York Times published an article by Liz Alderman on how Sweden’s experiment with a six-hour workday showed benefits for both the employee and the employer.

Here is the link to that article,  In Sweden, an Experiment Turns Shorter Workdays Into Bigger Gains.

I think the six hour work day is a capital idea for a number of reasons, some of which are cited in the article.

I work an 8 hour plus day. I have noticed that I am expended emotionally and intellectually after six hours. I can do my job, which requires an uninterrupted and rapid pace, as expected, very well in 6 hours. The time beyond that is exhausting and draining. I agree that a six hour work day would definitely improve my well-being.

A six hour work day could reduce unemployment because, instead of three eight-hour shifts for jobs requiring 24 hour operation, there would be four six-hour shifts. This is proving to be successful at the hospital noted in the article.

Perhaps a six hour work day would encourage less people to opt for early retirement. That might stoke the Social Security coffers. I know it would make it much easier for me to consider working to age 70 if my work week consisted of 5 six hour days.

It certainly could improve the mental and physical health of the country. Employees would have more time to spend with their families, to volunteer, to exercise/be active, and to make and enjoy home-cooked meals.

We could also see an increase in the interaction between neighbors and an increase in participation in community events which could result in an increased sense of belonging.

Currently, companies and corporations in the US are demanding more hours and more productivity in those hours and we, as employees, are exhausted.

I think the six-hour work day, a 30 hour work week, is a great idea.

What say you?

On Becoming a Sloth

I recently read a post at Hart of the Forest which in turn lead me to read an article by Sarah Knight at theguardian.com, which is also an excerpt of the book she wrote titled
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and I decided I need to read this book. So I bought it (using my Amazon points so I wouldn’t use a credit card).

About two years ago I decided to become a sloth and some of my friends were aghast because the Bible uses the sloth to describe one of the seven deadly sins- extreme laziness. Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. Source: Wikipedia

Considering the connotation of sloth in that perspective made me reconsider my decision to become a sloth. I wanted to adopt the attitude of a sloth because, to me, that means I will slow down and not get caught up in the drama around me- family drama, work drama, political drama. Staying un-involved in all that drama isn’t as easy as deleting a Facebook account to stay out of all that Facebook drama.

What I am trying to do is to ignore others’ expectations of me and re-define what I need to do, what I want to do and refuse to let others create stress in my life. I am learning to say ‘no’. I have a finite amount of energy and I will not let stress consume it.

Sarah Knight’s article headline is Drowning in Commitments? It’s time to stop giving a damn. And in the words of the handsome Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind….

Frankly my dear

Post-Script: While I am sure Sarah Knight’s book held some valuable info, I just couldn’t get past the first page. I have never used the ‘f’ word that much in my life. Actually, I really dislike the word. I returned the book.

Finished the 5 Day Fat Fast- Score!

Wow, I can’t believe I did it. I just finished a 5 day fat fast to fast track my goal of getting keto-adapted.

The fat fast was very do-able but the last day, yesterday was keto-flu day. I felt all the symptoms:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • brain fog
  • fatigue

Just icky.

But I reached my goal of becoming keto-adapted, primed now for functioning with very little glucose.

My pre-diabetic fasting blood sugar readings of 101+ are history. Today’s fasting glucose was an awesome 67!

And a secondary benefit was some weight loss- dropped a total of 6.2 lbs.

Next up, staying with the LCHF way of eating, getting those macros right to burn ketones, baby, burn ketones!