Medicare Mistakes To Avoid

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Medicare is a federal insurance program available to anyone over 65, as well as some young people with disabilities. While it has great benefits, it can be easy to get confused by all the rules and guidelines. Many people who don’t fully understand Medicare can end up getting caught out by surprise fees and expenses. Here are just some of the most common mistakes that people make involving Medicare and how you can avoid them.

Missing the sign-up deadline

Many people make the mistake of assuming that they will be automatically enrolled for Medicare the moment they hit 65. This may be the case if you’re already taking Social Security benefits, but if you’re not you’ll need to manually sign up yourself. You should aim to sign up to Medicare Part B and Part D 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. If you enrol late, you are likely to be charged a lifetime penalty fee (the later you enrol, the larger the fee).

Not understanding the different types of Medicare

Medicare is divided up into 4 parts: A, B, C and D. These parts all provide different forms of coverage, which are worth researching into. You are able to customize your plan to include specific types of Medicare – decide which types you need before you turn 65 so that you can take out the plans you need without incurring penalty charges.  

Overestimating your coverage

If a long-term employer previously offered insurance, you may have gotten used to a certain level of coverage. However, as many people find out when retiring, Medicare may not necessarily provide the same level of coverage, which could mean much higher medical bills than before. A lot of people take out supplement insurance with Medicare in order to provide more extensive coverage. While this means added insurance costs, you’ll likely save money on out-of-pocket treatment costs.

Not checking which providers accept your Medicare advantage plan

If you opt for a Medicare advantage plan (plan C), you should check that your local doctor accepts this coverage first. Not all doctors and clinics accept Medicare advantage plans, which could mean having to find a new doctor or pay for treatment out of your own pocket.

Renewing your policy each year without shopping around

You change your Medicare plan every year during the annual election period (October 15th to December 7th). While you don’t have to change your plan, you should at least take the time to shop around. There could be better plans and deals out there that can save you money. Too many people allow their plan to be automatically renewed each year out of convenience when they could be saving money with a better suited plan.

Woah There Momma! 5 Ways You’re Spending Too Much On Your Car

Part of being a frugal Mom is reducing unnecessary costs. But another important part is recognizing that while some costs are unavoidable, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be mitigated. Just because the whole family needs to eat doesn’t mean you can’t save money on food shopping. Just because you need to insure your home, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on the markets to see who has the most competitive prices. And just because you need a car to drop the kids off at school and / or take yourself off to work doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on it.

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Here are 5 ways in which you could be paying too much for your car…

Letting your insurance roll over

It goes without saying that insurance is essential in protecting your vehicle and everyone who drives it. But while insurance may be essentials overpaying for it most certainly isn’t. And that’s almost definitely what you’re doing when you let your policy roll over from one year to the next. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your insurer will reward your loyalty. They won’t. In fact, they’re counting on you letting your policy roll over so they can jack up the price. 

Take a look at this earlier post on how to save money on your auto insurance. 

Using the closest gas station to you

It’s great to live within easy reach of a gas station. But you may be surprised by how much you’re paying for the convenience of filling up close to home. If you’re prepared to drive just a little further out of your way, you may find that your savings in fuel are worth the extra effort and fuel expended to get there. These apps will help you to save money by finding the cheapest gas in your area. 

Not investing in regular servicing

An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. When it comes to servicing your vehicle, you may feel that you’re not getting a whole lot for your money. But in keeping your oil fresh, your filters replaced and your other fluids topped up, you’re keeping the parts in your vehicle’s engine from overheating and running less efficiently, eventually warping and wearing excessively. This will inevitably result in repairs that cost far more than regular servicing.

Using a garage that doesn’t offer discounts and coupons

Speaking of repairs, you should always be on the lookout for a repair shop / garage that’s willing to give you more for your money. Check out Elite Automotive for a good example. They have a section on their website dedicated to special offers on routine maintenance and diagnostic checks. 

Forgetting to check your tires

Finally, as easy as it is to take your tires for granted, as wear accumulates on them they can struggle to gain the traction they need on the road. Inevitably, this means that you wind up spending more on fuel. What’s more, worn tired can significantly increase your stopping distances when you need to brake hard in an emergency. Get your tired checked regularly! Most garages will do it for free.

Covering Your Finances In An Emergency

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If something goes wrong in your life, how will you cope financially? You could lose your job, or fall ill for a long period of time. Do you have the savings to cover your bills and your living expenses? 

You could face all kinds of different problems in your life, and you will never quite know exactly what is around the next corner. You need to be prepared for the worst at all times. 

One of the ways that you could do this is by having an emergency fund, just in case you ever need it. 

But how do you get an emergency fund?

In this article, we’ll be discussing the ways in which you can save for an emergency. 

How Much Should I Keep In My Emergency Fund?

If you were to lose your job anytime soon, it could take you a few months to replace it. During that time, you will still have bills to pay. 

It’s a good idea that you get enough money saved up so that you can cover your expenses for up to three months

This will give you enough time to look for a new job. 

Selling Old Or Unwanted Items

In order to start your fund, you should look at items that you could sell quickly. You may want to know where can I sell my junk car without a title? There are companies that will buy your old car for cash, whatever the condition. 

Have a clearout of your home and see if you can find items that you no longer need that you can sell on. 

Every Little Helps

When it comes to savings, it can be a challenge to save large amounts of money. Instead of trying to save for a large amount, save little and often. 

If were to save just $3 a day, within a year you would have saved over $1,000. As long as you don’t try and spend any of this money, you’ll have a reasonable amount after just one year. 

If you never touch this money, you will save a considerable sum as the years go on. 

Borrowing Money In An Emergency 

In the event of an emergency, you may need to look into borrowing money. Before you do this, it is essential that you check out the rate of interest attached to the loan. There are many lenders out there that will charge a very high rate of interest. This makes repaying the debt very challenging. With this type of loan, you may find that it takes a long time to repay your debt which could force you into further debt. 

Before you take out any loans, make sure that you can afford the monthly payments to repay it. You should also check to ensure that you are in fact borrowing the money from a reputable lender and not a company that will charge considerable sums when it comes to the interest that you’ll pay back.