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Stickied postModerator of r/personalfinance

30-day challenges

We are pleased to continue our 30-day challenge series. Past challenges can be found here.

This month's 30-day challenge is to Review your investment asset allocation! Some suggestions on how to do this:

  • Gather data on your fund selections in each investment account that you have. Include any investment account: IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457 plans, TSP accounts, taxable brokerage accounts, and so on.
  • Figure out what percentage of your overall allocation across accounts is allocated to domestic stocks, international stocks, and bonds.
    • You can do this by looking up each fund at Morningstar, viewing the fund information on the company website, or just search for the fund name or ticker symbol plus the word "prospectus".
    • On Morningstar X-Ray or Hello Money, you can enter each of your investments and it will return your overall allocation.
    • If you use Personal Capital and have linked your investment accounts, just click on "Allocation" under the "Investing" menu.
  • Don't panic! Whatever the result is, the last thing you want to do is change your allocation without doing additional research, reading, and figuring out what you want your overall allocation to be.

The goal of this exercise is to ensure that you're invested the way you want to be invested. For example, if you want a 20% bond allocation, is that what you have? If you want 35% of your stock investments to be international, are you reasonably close to that? (These are just examples, not recommendations.)

For more information on allocations, here are some recommended readings:

Use the comments to discuss your allocation, any questions you might have, or if you're wondering what you can do about them.

Challenge success criteria

You've successfully completed this challenge once you've done two or more of the following things:

  • Complete all of the recommended reading from above.
  • Finish your allocation review.
  • Take steps towards researching and changing your allocation if desired.

Alternate success criteria

If you don't have investments yet, you may consider this challenge a success if you do either of the following tasks:

  • Read the "How to handle $" steps up to your current step plus at least one step beyond that (bonus points for doing the recommended reading).
  • Pick any one of the challenges from the last year that you haven't already done and do it this month.
Stickied postModerator of r/personalfinance

If you need help, please check the PF Wiki to see if your question might be answered there.

While we never remove posts just because a question is answered in the wiki, this thread is a low-key place to ask any question no matter how "moronic" you think it might be.

Make a top-level comment if you want to ask a question! Also, please don't downvote "moronic" questions! If you have not received your answer within 24 hours, you can feel free to start a discussion.

A big thank you to the many PFers who take time to answer other people's questions!

For past help threads, please search the Weekly Archive.


Hi all,

My wife and I are first-time parents, and although we love our little string bean, we have been greeted by a complicated mess of insurance coverage and billing issues. Allow me to summarize:

  • General note - my wife and I are on separate insurance through our jobs; her insurance is cheaper (100% company paid) though it has a higher deductible. She has $3,200 individual / $6,400 family HDHP coverage. My wife hit her deductible during childbirth. As a result, her plan should kick in for subsequent, required, non-preventive care. We are fortunate in that her plan pays 100% after deductible.
  • We have gotten three bills for various services for my wife subsequent to her hitting her deductible, all of which should have been covered under the plan.
  • We were balance-billed for newborn audiology screening because the provider was out of network (this is wrong on multiple levels since our hospital has a policy preventing their providers from balance billing patients who are seen on an in-patient or emergency basis); this was quickly adjusted to be considered in-network, but then we were billed for even more because it was incorrectly processed. Standard audiology screening is preventive care, covered by all compliant insurance plans at 100%.
  • We received bills for multiple other preventive services, all of which are, per our benefits package, covered at 100% irrespective of deductible.

In total, the erroneous bills have come to ~$2,000. We were fully prepared for the $3,200 and for subsequent visits when our baby is ill; we were not prepared to be billed due to our insurance company failing to abide by its own policies!

We have gotten bills from no fewer than ten different providers; if we weren't educated on our plan coverage, we could easily have just paid these bills without a second thought, and if we had ignored them without contacting the providers and insurance company, our credit would have been hit pretty hard.

The story is still playing out - insurance is adjusting the claims it processed wrong - but the moral of the story is to get educated on your benefits before having a baby, and read every single bill and EOB you get to make sure you are not paying too much.


It has my full name and address and some of the bill was paid with insurance. Super weird and freaking me out.

Update: They told me at the office that my name is right above the Mom’s on their drop down menu in the system and it is corrected.

I am still going to call my insurance company and let them know but my insurance wasn’t billed for it, theirs was.

Thanks for all the help!


The situation is little weird. I started working for this company almost 6 months ago. And they started paying with personal checks. I noticed this every time when it is time to pay they give me the check in the amount of few thousand dollars. And they write truck repair or some weird thing. but I work as a project manager. And after I cash the check they give me my personal check and pay themselves with cash I brought from cash checking place. So my situation is this, I have done few checks cashing for them in the amount of more than 10K$ but I stopped. Will this hurt me in the end when I file for taxes? Even though I never deposited this money into my bank account? And how do I proceed with my 1099 for this year? Also, I found out that there is a guy who works there who won the lawsuit and claimed disability so he cannot work anymore and he only takes cash. He has been a dick to me. The lawsuit was on condition he will never have to work again that is why he was awarded the compensation. Who do I report this to? I have a proof of him making income and working while violating his agreement with the court.

P. S

One thing I forgot to mention they didn't ask for my social security number when I was hired. I didn't file W4 forms. Will this hurt me with checks. company doesn't have my ssn number.


21 year old- not understanding credit cards. Why do people keep money on their credit card? I know several people who like to keep money on their cards that they could easily pay off but continually do this for years. Does this build credit? Am I missing something important? From what I’ve gathered, using the card and having a record of paying at least the minimum builds credit, but why not just pay off the whole bill instead?


This spring, my wife’s grandfather passed away after a short illness. During the course of it he was hospitalized for 5 days and had one ambulance visit where he was not transported. Soon after his estate started getting the bills for his medical care. My MIL initial though was to pay everything that came in at once. My wife and I was able to convince her to wait until the estate got final bills as well as to let us look over a itemized billing and the EOB from the insurance company.

Fast forward two months later. MIL is getting worried about these bills. She already paid the bill for the Ambiance as she though they would refuse to come if no one paid them. She also did not want to call any of the billing departments to get a itemized statement because they might yell at her. So she finally brings me the bills and the insurance EOB.

It becomes apparent with just the EOB that something is messed up. The EOB had the estates responsibility at under 2k while she had bills for around 5k. A few calls turned out that the hospital had received additional payments and that they had not sent a revised bill yet. The bill was in line with the coverage at that point (just hospital copay for 5 days)

Had I not taken a look, she would of sent them a check for over twice the amount she should of.

I then noticed on the EOB that the ambulance bill was denied for being out of network. That did not make sense as their is only one ambulance district that serves the area. Calling the insurance company determined that they were in fact out of network, but they should of covered 80% of the bill. It took getting the billing person for the ambulance as well as a insurance rep on the phone to get that straightened out. So since she already paid it, she now gets to wait 60+ days for the billing to process before the estate is refunded $500.

Lessons learned here are in the US, medical bills are complicated as fuck and mistakes on billing will happen. At the bare minimum, compare your EOB with the bill and question anything that was denied.


Dad is 60 and mom is 56 and still married. They are both very frugal and live comfortably. They have 0 saved for retirement. Both have lived in Mexico all their lives. My dad doesn’t speak English but mom speaks it fluently. She is American and he has a resident visa.

Both received their education in Mexico. He has his master’s in accounting and she graduated from med school and was a surgeon. Due to my dad’s old school values, he asked my mom to stay home and raise us 3 daughters, hence she hasn’t practiced since age 30. They have never worked in the USA. Parents are strongly considering moving to the US to be closer to his daughters, one sister is in Alberta, one is in the Midwest, and one in PNW.

Dad owns a fabrication business in Mexico and owns 5 semi-trailers for transporting goods all over Mexico. He is also a jack of all trades, he does plumbing, electrical, mechanic work. They have 1 house all paid off and 3 vehicles - a rusted 1970 Ford, a 1990 Nissan vehicle with no seats that he hot-wires every day to drive (like in the movies), and a 1985 dodge. Combined these cars are over 1 million miles.

Breakdown of his assets in Mexico:

  • Fab building (includes house): $3.5M pesos = $171,783 USD
  • Tooling (Includes crane, forklift, lathes, presses, plasma cutter): $73,621 USD
  • 5 Semi trailers: $156,077 USD
  • Church building he wants to donate: $53,989 USD
  • Yearly income: $8,000 - $10,000 USD a year.

His debt:

  • CC: $25,000 USD
  • Bank loan: $7,362 USD

They are visiting me in the US right now and some guy at church wanted to have a friendly chat over coffee with my dad. This guy barely speaks Spanish so not sure how he got his message across, but he started talking to my dad about annuities and bonds. He gave him the spiel about having to prepare for death and to buy insurance so that my mom lives comfortably without him, etc. Here is the handout he gave them: Handout

When I used to go to church, I had people like this approach me trying to sell me shit. I had a talk with my dad because these people prey on the vulnerable and are just looking for a profit for themselves. I am thinking about opening a vanguard account, but not sure which asset allocation I should choose.

My sisters and I are planning to help them out with expenses in the future. My fiancé and I earn combined $130,000 USD, younger sister earns $60,000 USD and older sister earns $60,000 CAD. Each of us has some student loan debt

My feeling is that they are better off staying in Mexico due to healthcare costs. But other times I feel like he needs to drop everything and come to the US. he is so stressed in Mexico due to his clients disappearing without paying him, lawsuits, family stealing from him, gangs stole 2 semi-trailers, thieves coming in to the fab shop with guns and stealing from him etc. My fiancé and I will be relocating to Canada in 5 years so maybe they could join us there.

My dad is fearful to start his life all over in the US. He is thinking about becoming an assembler at a manufacturing plant where I work, but it is very hard manual labor, and his health isn’t the best (he passes 1 kidney stone a month). He always ran his own business, and not sure how he would adjust to it.

How can I help my parents plan their retirement? I do not think they qualify for social security.



I will shortly be emigrating from the UK to Florida on a Spousal visa. I currently work from home and my UK based employer is happy for me to continue doing so from Florida.

I am trying to work out what my income tax options / obligations are. I understand that there is a double taxation agreement between the UK and USA and I believe that primarily I would owe tax in the USA as that is where I will be living full time.

My employer has indicated that they are willing to make changes to my employment status if necessarily but that ideally the less change the better. They do not have a US Payroll.

From what I can tell, I have two options;

  1. End my employment and become a third party contractor

  2. Continue in employment and be paid into my UK bank account

Is anyone able to help me with the pros and cons of each solution and the differences in taxation?

Is there also a difference for my Employer in terms of taxation?

Many thanks


Hi all,

I'm 27, single and stable at my current job. Currently renting a room in a modest beach house. I recently inherited about 110k in cash and I am toying with the idea of buying a property that has two smaller (sub 1k sqft each) houses on it. Currently they are a little dumpy but with some money and effort I think that they can both be pretty solid rentals that are two blocks from the one of the more desirable beaches in my area (they are 2 houses away from the flood line, I will not need flood insurance).

It's kind of a weird situation, in that zoning only allows for the property to be sold with both houses and they cannot be split up. Listing price is 190k, both houses need carpets and tile ripped up, the hardwood floors redone and fresh paint at the absolute minimum. One may have a bad roof, one is more recent. I would likely try to knock out as many of the smaller potential problematic items that could cause headaches down the road prior to having tenants in the houses as well.

I feel as though this could be a great opportunity to either live in one of the houses and rent the other house out, with their rent covering my mortgage for a few years, then down the road have both units rented out in hopes of a source of passive income. I am comfortable putting enough money down (20%+) that the rent received from one unit would cover the entire mortgage, property taxes and insurance so I'd only be covering it out of pocket if lived in one of the units and did not have tenants in the other unit, or if I did not live in either unit and had no tenants in either unit, which I don't think is too much of a stretch with my current income (one unit occupied would cover both units).

What are you guys thoughts on this situation with my current income? Anything that I am vastly overlooking?


Salary - $47,500 (~$2,600 monthly take home after contributing 5% to company 401k which gets me a 4% match)

Local Checking/Savings - $4,000

Online Ally Savings - $119,000 (predominately inherited)

50k in the form of an inherited IRA and 11k in a Roth IRA of my own.


Rent/utilities - $600

Car insurance - $150

Motorcycle insurance - $25

Gym membership - $10

Pet insurance - $35

Let me know if any additional info is needed. Any insight is hugely appreciated. Thank you for your time.


I make approximately 75k a year (Maybe up to 83 with bonuses). I’m 24 years old, with around 35k saved up in stocks/savings accounts and 7k in a 401k (only started last year). I’m looking at spending about 1400 a month on rent for a 1 bedroom apartment and I like the unit I toured (not a display unit). It’s super new, and has good kitchen space, plenty of room, with a solid location.

Meanwhile I think the lowest I could find in the area is around 1000 for a 1 bedroom. Location is about the same and the unit would be a bit smaller, bit less modern, and with a cramped kitchen. Do you think I should go for the 1 bedroom to save more or go for the nicer apartment knowing that I’ll be down like 300-400 dollars a month?

I guess it boils down to whether I think creature comforts are more important than my ability to retire early. Has anyone been in a similar boat, and is there any advice you’d give me?


I am an EMT in an affluent state, currently make $16.50/hr, which is decent for the field and livable with the right budget. The average cost of living is about $20/hr here.

I am trying to get a job in an emergency department at a local hospital. I applied for part time or per diem, but it seems they are only willing to hire full time.

However, the starting pay rate is lower than what I make now, by several dollars, and my current job has a ton of OT available. The hospital is part of our biggest state employer that owns many hospitals and other medical clinics, and is a great opportunity to get my foot in the door with the system. It's a busy hospital that would give me a tons more experience than what I get now in my current job. But I just dont know how much that experience is worth as far as a loss of income. Going there full time would cut my hourly pay and while I could stay per diem with my current job, I wouldn't be able to work any OT without working over 80hours a week between the two jobs.

I'd like to get the experience and make a good name for myself inside the system, but it doesn't seem worth it to me unless they are allowing per diem work. They justify the lower pay scale with benefits, which I wont need, and tuition reimbursement for the Techs who are placed through local nursing programs, which I wont elligble for.

Am I looking at this wrong? And If I'm not, what's a good arguement against the lower pay rate?


Yes, it's true! Long story short, I was required to file an amended return for my 2015 taxes. The letter I received in early 2016 said I had 3 years to do so. I was led to believe that the amount I might owe (or even be refunded) would be negligible, so I put it off until November 2017. In March 2018, I got a letter from the IRS saying that I actually overpaid a LOT (to me) of money in taxes for 2015, so they would send me a check refunding that amount *plus interest*. I gave it about a month (figuring it's a government agency, after all) and the check never arrived. I called them, and they told me they would set up a trace that would determine whether the check was deposited or not. If it was not deposited, they would reissue the check. If it was deposited (fraudulently and not by me), they would send a packet that I'd have to fill out to prove that I did not actually deposit the check. I had to call them twice to initiate this process; the first time I called the person who initiated the trace did it incorrectly, and I didn't find that out until I called to check on the process a couple weeks later.

They said it would take six weeks, and today was the deadline. I really didn't think the check would come, but every time I called the IRS to see if they had tracking information (they didn't, go figure), I was told that I had to wait for this deadline before they could take any action.

Up until now, I have been simply dealing with the person who answers the phone when I call the number my IRS letter told me to call. I want to escalate this, since they are clearly mailing me things and I'm not getting them. The last person I spoke to said they cannot do direct deposit, and can only issue checks through their system. The checks are sent from Kansas City and I live in a major east coast city. Even if it took the longest amount of time for the IRS to process a check and then for said check to reach me, it should only be about 2 weeks.

I have also contacted my local post office, since my neighborhood has had sporadic problems with delivery in the past. However, I do feel that the responsibility lies more with the IRS than the USPS in this case, since they are the ones who have my money. I am going to call the IRS tomorrow but I'm not exactly sure what to say. I want to get results, and at this point them telling me for the third time "We will start a trace and you will either get a check or a packet..." is no longer acceptable. Thank you for your advice!


According to this, Vanguard has .04 but those other 2 have .03. Yet on this sub and elsewhere online I read almost exclusively about about investing in a Vanguard index fund and just letting it sit (I have no desire to try to beat the market, I will lose). But the reason that is always recommended is because Vanguard has low expense ratios. But they don't have the lowest, so why choose them? What am I missing?


Can anyone explain to me what happened? I had just made over 800, then I sold my house and used some of the profit from that to pay off a loan I used to consolidate some credit card debt. Then BAM 600 TransUnion/Equifax.

For reference, I make a little over 6 figures and between those 2 I eliminated about $250k of debt. I have 3 open credit cards and 2 car loans, still. I only use 1 cc and it stays under 10% utilization.


I am 27, 2 years into getting my college degree, and need some advice on possibly buying a new vehicle.


Age: 27

Location: Reno

Income: $25k after taxes

Expenses: $1,300 (Rent, car expenses, insurance, food, everything else I need to spend money on to survive)

Debt: Zero. No car payment, student loans, or credit card/medical.

Assets: $22k savings.

School: 2 years into a 4 year degree from my community college for supply chain management. School has been 100% paid for from financial aid and scholarships, should be able to maintain this until I am finished and have zero student loans.

Situation: Was never pushed to go to college when I was younger, grew up in a poor family and am working on getting myself to a better spot...fuck being poor... Lurked here for a few years and have been able to save, budget, and get myself secure.

My jobs have always been crappy service industry jobs so no opportunity for a matched 401k. Planning to start one as soon as I graduate and have a "real" job.

I love cars, have the opportunity to buy a car I have always wanted for $2000 below KBB because a coworker is trying to get out of payments. The car is a 2017 Toyota 86, selling it to me for $18,000. My current car is a 2005 Wrangler, 92k miles, and worth $12,000.

Would it be stupid to buy this car I have always wanted? I would pay cash for the car and sell my Jeep so out of pocket would be $6,000.

Thank you PF, you have gotten me out of debt and secure financially.


I currently make 90k with meh health insurance and meh 401k match. But, I get a ton of paid holidays and 2 weeks PTO + 5 days sick time. And everyone is chill about you working from home whenever.

Interviewed for a job I'm really interested in (same industry, new job description).. but got my offer and got to see the benefits and I'm bummed out. It's 100k. Good 401k match but the health insurance is shit. PTO is 15 days and sick or vacation time mashed together. Paid holidays off is the bare minimum. No long term or short term disability covered. They are not chill about working from home.

My commute to both my current job and potential future job is 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes. My current job is boring but easy and chill. I might be able to make a move to this new position at my current job, but I don't know how to do that if I'm meh about my offer.

What would you do in this situation?


I have about $10k in my Wealthfront Roth IRA account and I want to cash it out and open up a Vanguard account and do a DIY 3 fund portfolio. Is there anything special I need to know or do? Just sell everything, transfer the funds to my bank account, transfer to my new Vanguard account and buy what I want? I heard if you do it within a 90 day window or something like that then there won't be any tax issues or anything.


In California, is it possible that a severance agreement could have language protecting a company from being liable to provide unemployement payments? Is that even lawful?

asking for a friend


The title pretty much explains it. My parents have always struggled with money. Paycheck to paycheck their entire lives, wasteful spending, no budgeting, currently barely hanging on to their apartment, but constantly on the verge of evection. They both live off of social security and my fathers small pension. I don’t think I’ve ever watched them make a sound, well thought out financial decision in my life.

They paid off all their debt, my dad got his desperately needed dentures and my mom also had some much needed dental work done. They also both spent about $800 on themselves, as they’ve never had money before. After this they have $75k left over.

They are talking to a financial advisor in a few days, but as they are incredibly trusting and impressionable I want to make sure he or she points them in the right direction. The advisor is someone that “made their friends and the church a bunch of money” so I don’t know their credentials. I told them to not make any decisions right then and there.

My dad is 76 and in poor health. My mom is 65 and doing fine. They have no savings and I don’t make enough to give them the proper care they’re going to need as they get older.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: Taxes are paid. I live on the other side of the country so I can’t attend the meeting with the advisor. I’m an only child.


Hi everyone, this is my first time posting in this subreddit, but I've been a long time lurker. Recently I've hit some financial lows and I'm looking for ways to make extra money. I am a full time nursing student who pays all of my bills on my own with no help from parents. I work a part time job 20 hours a week, making 200 per week if that. It's enough to cover most of bills but I have absolutely no money for myself, barely any for food and gas. I like my job because they are extremely flexible with my classes and I need that. So... With that being said what are some ways to make extra money on the side without letting it affect my school or quitting my job? Thank you and sorry if this is a dumb post, I'm just trying to make ends meet and finish school at the same time.


Hi guys,

I'm already dreading tax season, so I figured I'll get a jump on this early. I'm a 20-year-old college student. This year, all of my income has come in the form of independent contracting work (website development and IT work), which as you all know means I'm going to have to file my own taxes this year instead of just filling out a W2. I've been keeping track of deductions, but it really isn't that much compared to what I've made. I'm in a fortunate situation with scholarships and financial aid and am on track to emerge from college debt-free, even if I don't work, so I actually have quite a bit of discretionary income.

I have a few questions:

  1. Are there any resources regarding tax filing that I can use to make this coming process easier?
  2. Are there any deductions I can claim to ease my tax burden? I really don't relish the idea of the IRS chomping into my income with only the deductions I currently have claimed.
  3. What would you all recommend in terms of investment at my age? Currently all my earnings are stashed in a savings account.

Thanks guys, I look forward to hearing from you.


Basically, UMUC emailed my wife and said she owed them $112.00. They said that they wrote and sent us a check (we are certain they didn't, as this happened before) and that, since we didnt cash the check that we didnt receive, we now have that $112 as a balance on our account.

My wife talked to them for a little bit and was told that FAFSA meant for that money to be for us as a part of her Pell Grant. Now, after they cancelled the imaginary check because it wasn't cashed, they can't write us another one because it's their policy. Somehow that now means that we owe them $112. She argued with them for a while, and was told to just "ignore" the balance, and that FAFSA will pay it.

How on Earth does this happen like this? FAFSA is supposed to give her Pell money, but UMUC conveniently loses a check and 'cant' write another one. Now we are waiting for FAFSA to pay them for my wife, and I'm assuming that we wont be seeing the $112. I dont care as much about that as I do about how shady this situation is.

Is this normal procedure? Is there any action that we need to take to protect her credit?


I just spent the last 2 years taking care of my Grandmother who had a few different kinds of cancer. She just passed on June 4 after a long battle. I lived with my Grandma in my childhood home. She left the home to me, through a will that said the deed transferred to me upon her death. The home still has a remaining mortgage of 61,000. I currently dont have a job but am going to get one and my mother is helping me financially with the bills atm. I have yet to call the mortgage company and inform them, I just turned in a death certificate at the local Courthouse yesterday. Im very confused how to proceed. Im afraid to call Wells Fargo and have them tell me they are going to foreclose. I just need to onow if theirs anything I should do first like refinance and what I could say to Wells Fargo to keep the house and continue making payments. Im very apprehensive about informing them and jist wanna know if theirs steps to be taken before because I don't wanna set something in motion thats gonna make me abruptly lose me home. I have a very minimal understanding of all this and any help would be very very appreciated. Thanks for your time.


Obligatory disclosure - long time lurker, first time poster.

I have initiated an expensive dental procedure that I have been putting off for YEARS that I need financial advice on. I feel like I already know the answer, but I've never had to deal with large medical bills before so I want to make sure I'm covering all my bases.

Before I even picked out an oral surgeon I called my insurance to get an idea of what would be covered so I would know what to save to pay out of pocket. The procedure requires two parts (1) extraction and bone graft and (2) implants. My insurance stated that they would cover up to 50% of the extraction and bone graft and up to 90% for implants.

I picked a surgeon and during my first consultation I was told the first procedure would cost around $1375 and the second procedure would be about $3274 with my insurance. I have completed the first procedure and paid about $1400 out of pocket, so they were right about that, however, this is now not the case for the second and most expensive procedure.

During my recent second consultation for the implants I was told the procedure would now be around $5500. I explained that was not what I was originally quoted. I even showed them the card in which the girl wrote down the quote from the first consultation. They mentioned that they would work with me on discounting the anesthesia and mentioned their financing options, but that was about it. I requested that they resubmit it to my insurance so I can get confirmation and a better idea of what I would pay out of pocket. They have submitted the "claim" to my insurance and when I checked my insurance account it stated that patient responsibility would be $5574.00 meaning my insurance is not covering any of it. I called my insurance company directly and they confirmed that they will not pay for any of it, that I have used all my dental benefits for this year due to the first procedure and they will not pay any more towards any dental work for the rest of the year. I stated that I was previously told they would cover up to 90% to which they suggested I request the dental office submit under medical and see what is covered. I spoke with the insurance resource at the dental office and she said they do not file under my insurance's medical, only dental, but sometimes the insurance company will kick it over to medical if not covered by dental (I do not want to work under this assumption). The $5574.00 is due at the time of service. I anticipate being able to schedule the surgery in 2-3 weeks from now.

Timing is another issue. I considered waiting until January when my benefits renew to do the implants but the surgeon stated that the bone graft will only hold for so long before I would have to pay to do it again and I do not believe the current bridge (dental piece) I have now will last long enough because once the implants (screws) are completed I have to use the current bridge for another 5-6 months while my gums heal. This piece will not last another year and my job requires me to be in front of people and talking all the time. It’s my two front teeth so if it was a molar I would be way less concerned.

All that to say, what's my best opinion? I will have around $2000 saved up to pay out of pocket. Should I fight to have them bring it down to the original estimate of $3200? I’ve heard people have had success with negotiating medical bills, the issue is they require the payment due at time of service. I really enjoy my surgeon and his assistants so I don’t want to rock the boat…

Should I bite the bullet pay the whole thing and open a line of credit with financing and pay it off ASAP?

I also asked if I could pay the second half once my gums have healed 5-6 months later once the caps are ready to be added, but they restated that everything is due at time of service. If this wasn't the case I would try to work with them to make monthly payments directly to them vs financing. The financing is with Care Credit which offers no interest if paid in full within the promotional periods at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months with deferred interest of 26.99% from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full within the promotional period. I anticipate being able to throw between $600-800 a month at it until its paid off so not worried about paying interest, but I would really prefer that money to go to the 6 month emergency fund which is $3000 from my goal.

I also really, really prefer not to have another line of credit, but don't really see a way around it. Currently I just have a student loan, my car payment and one credit card that I pay off every month and it currently has no balance. I have recently become very serious about personal finance with the goal to pay off my student and car loan ASAP and not gain any more debt.

Please let me know if more details are needed. I tried to be as thorough as possible. Any advice or suggestions are much appreciated.

**UPDATE** I contacted my insurance company again and asked to have it go under medical. They admitted that even though its a medical need implants are still considered a dental procedure so it cannot be filed under medical BUT I may be reimbursed for the bone graft as it could have gone under medical. If delta comes from that I will apply to the $5500. I'm going to contact the office again to see what they can discount before applying with care credit at 0% interest knowing I can have it paid off in 6-7 months. Thanks again for all the advice!!!!!


Hi so I recently got a discover it credit card since im in college. I am mostly using it for just the simple monthly payments like subscriptions, so the max amount i will use on the card is like $50 per month. For any other transactions i use my debit card. My cc limit is $500 rn and I understand that the limit can be higher the better score you have. My question is, would my credit score build if i only spent 50$ every month and pay it off in the statements? Or do i have to spend more or something? any other tips is appreciated.


I have 3 loans left to pay. Two are consolidated Federal loans (1 subsidized, one unsubsidized) and one is private. Up until now, I have been paying the largest amount of the highest interest private loans. In the past I have been told to pay all private loans first since they are less likely to work with you if you hit financial hardship. But, my last private loan is my lowest interest rate. What do you all think?

$ 10,865.77 4.875 \% (subsidized)

$ 21,633.59 4.875 \% (unsubsidized)

$ 24,819.51 4.000 \% (Private)

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