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Balancing your finances to afford health insurance

Author: Marlene White
Published: Jul 7 2013

Health insurance is a vital service. Through health insurance individuals are able to afford any health care costs that their health demands. In some locations private health insurance is more vital than others. In locations like Australia they have a tax funded Medicare that covers basic doctor visits and hospital stays. Health insurance providers such as GMF Health offer supplemental insurance that cover services like emergency ambulance rides, glasses, and dental work that are not covered by Medicare. In the United States without health insurance, you are responsible for paying for your entire medical bill unless you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Considering that the average cost of a 1 day hospital visit is $4,287, you cannot afford not to invest in health insurance. Below I will list tactics that will allow you to balance your finances and hopefully allow you to afford health insurance.

Figure Out Your Current Budget

The first step to wrangling in your out of control spending is to compile your budget. If you make the majority of your purchases through a credit or debit card, you can simply look online at your spending report. If you tend to use cash, you will need to compile your own spending report by looking at the amount withdrawn from ATMs and stores. Once you have the amount, you should try to locate your receipts. If you do not have receipts, you will need to guestimate how much you spent on food, clothes, and other items.

Free online budget tools like Budget Pulse and Free Budget Planner will allow you to keep track of your budget either online or directly on your computer. Through that you can get a better sense of where you stand financially.

Continue to Keep Track of All Your Spending

You should begin to track all of your expenses. You should know around what you spend each month. If you are fitting health insurance into a tight budget, it is important to make sure that you do not overdraw from the bank. The fines from overdrawing will just add another expense that you don’t need to deal with.

See if You Can Cut Spending

Once you have completed your budget, you will be able to identify unneeded expenses. You should eliminate as many as these as you are comfortable with. While you might want Cable TV, you really don’t need it. It might be painful to eliminate these items and services from your daily life, but the ability to visit the dentist without going into debt will be worth it.

Limit Money Spent at One Time

In order to prevent unnecessary spending, you should agree not to buy unnecessary items over $50 or $100 without spending a few days considering if you need the item. While it is important to indulge in your desires for unneeded items occasionally, you should always spend a few days thinking about whether you really need the item. If you are living with a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, you might want to talk the potential purchase over with them.

Don’t Abuse Credit Cards

While credit cards will allow you to make purchases even if your next pay check hasn’t come through yet. You should always try to pay as much of your bill off as possible. Credit card interest is just another expense that will make it harder for you to afford health insurance. If you want to save money and get a grasp on your finances, credit cards are not the way to go.

While balancing your finances will not assure that you have money for health insurance, it should at least be a step in the right direction. While you are trying to figure out how much you need to save to afford health insurance, you should check to see if you qualify for health insurance tax breaks or government financial aid.

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