Friday, August 15, 2008

Mo' Money!

I forgot to mention a surprise $600 I have coming to me!

A few months ago, my bookclub at work discussed a book that was edited by a friend of mine, who also at the time was in charge of the book club (the book had been selected by the previous organizer, so it was all above board!). Anyway, the friend felt uncomfortable coming up with questions for the meeting since she was so close to the subject, so I agreed to help her. I wrote up some questions for the editor, author, and group, and led the discussion and thought nothing else of it.

Well, last week we discovered that our marketing department let this book slip through the cracks. They were supposed to assign it to a freelancer to develop a reading group guide to be published online, and had forgotten to do so. The book pubs in a few weeks, so there was no time to hire a freelancer. The publicist remembered that I'd led the meeting, and asked if I still had the questions I'd written up--which I did! They pulled some strings so that I'd get paid the freelancer's rate for basically emailing them something I'd worked on months ago. I should get the check next week. Yay!

It will probably be a little over $400 after taxes, and I've already committed to putting it in my Lasik fund. I'm starting to do some serious research on the surgery, and it looks like I can afford to get it done next year after all. The initial consultation I had with one doctor quoted me $5,000 with a 15% discount, but I have had other personal recommendations that come with price tags closer to $3,000 before discount. I realize that this is not a procedure to get done at bargain basement prices, but why pay $2,000 more for the same service?

I've also considered going home to my parents to have the procedure done, since it's MUCH cheaper outside of NYC. However, if there were complications, I would have to fly back down there, and that might eat up the difference in savings pretty quickly.

This small windfall will get me to about $1,500 set aside, so I'm halfway there. I can probably put away another $1,500 by the time I'm ready to get it done. I have to wait until 2009 anyway since I'm going to change my HCRA withholding to cover the entire thing. I'm going to visit all the doctors that have been recommended to me between now and then and get free consultations until I find the one I'm ready to use. Things are moving forward!


  1. So you are saving money for the procedure, and also using from your Health Flex account? I'm quite intrigued since I'm also thinking about the procedure, but am not sure about how to save for it. Good luck!

  2. Yes, Valerie, I'm sort of doing a double-edged thing here, but I can't see a way around it.

    The Flex account requires I spend the money upfront and they'll reimburse me. So I will have to pay out of pocket, and I'm not comfortable tying up that much of my emergency fund for however long it would take them to reimburse me.

    Which is the second point--while this is an approved expense, I'm not sure whether I'll get reimbursed as the money is taken out of my check, or if I can possibly get reimbursed up front and then the money taken out of my check will just fulfill my debt to them, or if I'll have to wait until the end of the year to have the procedure done.

    Basically, I need to do some more research but despite the fact that this is a reimbursed expense, I do need to save for it upfront. It doesn't qualify as an emergency fund expense in my mind.

    Then I'll need to figure out what to do when I get the reimbursement money back!

  3. Congrats on the side income!

    I've always wanted Lasik, but the price tag puts it out of my budget. Good luck saving for it!


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