I had a shocking revelation on Sunday night as I sat down to balance my banking account and write out checks: for the first time in my 28 years, I feel like a grown up. I've got a ton of bills to pay and I've had to learn to budget. I've started to learn from my mother and clip coupons from the Sunday papers, and to watch for deals in the weekly ads so I can make sure I'm getting the most product for my dollar. And a 401K. Should I have one? Should I have a different type of retirement plan set for myself other than just my personal savings?
This all started when I got my first credit card a few months back. For once I felt like something of an adult - because as a kid, I thought only adults got credit cards, so if I got a credit card it must be like the world's way of saying 'bitch, you are responsible enough to handle this credit line, now go out and help boost the economy'. Since I got it, I've paid the bill off each month to avoid outrageous fees and interest rates. Yay, me!
Then the feeling of being an adult went away whenever I passed out at work and had to go to the hospital, where all I wanted was my mommy and a good nap under the wonderfully heated blankets with cartoons quietly playing in the background on the small TV in my hospital room.
After recovering, the cold slap of responsibility and adulthood has returned, in the form of an influx of bills that make me want to sell everything I own, close my checking account, change my name to Juanita and move to Mexico (even though I barely speak Spanish and would be marked as a foreigner within five seconds of crossing the border).
The radiology bill wasn't so bad, less than $70. That left me thinking that the rest couldn't be so bad.
And I was proven wrong.
I received my bill from the county fire rescue yesterday. Apparently they charge a $500 flat fee for mileage. This was before I was even thrown into the ambulance and taken away. $500 just for showing up. As for the mileage to take me 3.5 miles down the road, seven minutes and only two right turns? $24 for seven minutes and two right turns. That is how much it takes to fill my gas tank to three quarters of the way full and sustain me driving all over town for a week and a half.
Luckily they offer payment plans, which I took advantage of since that $524 is more than I make in a two week span. Not by much, but I've got other bills to take care of, being an adult and all. *eyeroll*
I still haven't gotten the bill for the actual ER visit or the bill from the lab where my blood work and UA was done. That scares me since I've been told that they charge like $50 each time they check your vitals, which they did to me about every twenty minutes until the RN took the heart monitor off of me since she deemed it unnecessary as I came in with stomach issues and not chest pain.
On the plus side, this whole being an adult thing and managing your money well can lead to more credit lines.
I applied for CareCredit, which is a credit card for all medical expenses from dental to veterinary, and I got approved. Now I can get dental work done and pay it off at my leisure rather than having to save money to give to Dr. Mark in one lump sum. It creates another bill to pay, but it also means I'll have a healthier mouth. As soon as that card comes in my ass is going to be in the chair getting a root canal and crown. Painful? A bit. But they get me high as a kite between nitrous and valium so by the time he starts work I could really care less what he's doing.
This also means I have funding for my bridge and braces by the time all of the reconstructive work has been completed.
Even with credit lines and a job, sometimes I really hate being an adult. There are so many things to worry about, mostly centered around money. Will my check this week cover all of my incoming bills? Will I have enough left over to buy food other than ramen? How on earth am I going to manage to do all of my assignments, study, work, keep the house clean, go to class, and spend time with my family? Where the hell do social engagements fit in all of this foolishness?
What I wouldn't give to be a kid again, where all I had to worry about was keeping my grades high and playing with my friends after school. This being an adult gig sucks.