Before we get to the link love, here's a quick update on us!
Baby M is doing really well - she's growing (she's tripled her birth weight, three and a half pounds!), and eating (starting to learn to breastfeed!) and breathing (still with some oxygen assistance). She should come home around the new year, and we are very excited for it.
We are doing well, also. Peanut has been working crazy insane hours and I have gone back to work full time as well, so we're not seeing too much of each other and it's a little stressful - but we know that this time is temporary and things will get better soon. We are hanging in there. Thanks to everyone who's dropped me a note to check in on how we're doing.
20 Something Finance takes a look at the costs of a high deductible health insurance plan versus a PPO. Here's the difference for us, on an annual basis:
HDHP - Premiums $0 (covered 100% by employer). Deductible $3200. Coinsurance $0.
PPO - Premiums $2200. Deductible $500. Coinsurance 20%.
They're pretty evenly matched except for major medical events. Then, suddenly, the PPO becomes a giant albatross around our necks. Consider, for example, that my medical care for Baby M's birth was $50,000 - 20% of that would have been $10,000. And let's not even consider what we'd owe for her care, which has already reached the several hundreds of thousands. I thank my lucky stars every day that I made the right choice last November.
Still, that's not the case for every HDHP vs. PPO choice - our high deductible is not really all that high compared to many. It pays to do your research!
A summary on Lifehacker of how to commit internet suicide and disappear from the web. It's not the same thing as never having put something out there, but it's a way to clean up your tracks if you decide you want to be less findable.
I've been hearing a lot about JC Penney lately - Forbes recently covered the major losses they've suffered after changing from a sales-and-coupon model to an everyday-low-price model. I used to shop fairly regularly at JC Penney, always drawn in by a coupon, but I haven't bought anything there since they introduced the new pricing method. I wouldn't say that I am actively avoiding the store because of it, but sales and coupons certainly make me more likely to visit a store to buy something than just "everyday low prices". After all, I don't need any more clothes at any price, but I can always come up with a use for a $10 off $10 coupon. Interesting psychology, no?
Always the Planner's post about her infertility treatment had a great quote that applies to much more than the cost of reproduction: "However, I am a personal finance blogger. What I can afford and what I would like to pay are two different things." This is SO TRUE and probably warrants a post of its own. Keeping this difference in mind might be the key to financial success.
Trent at The Simple Dollar provides six simple gifts you can make between now and Christmas. Christmas is completely canceled in the Moneybags' house - we are not buying or making gifts for anyone this year since we'd rather spend our time at the hospital with our (very) early Christmas present. But this is a list I might well be using next year!