Plan Ahead for Short Term Emergencies

An emergency may be unexpected, but it is not necessarily unforeseeable. If you’re not planning for life’s emergencies ahead of time, you may end up turning to short term loans as your only way to finance them. However, there are other ways to stash away emergency cash for when life hand’s you one of its little emergencies.

Medical Expenses

Health insurance is one way to plan for medical problems you can’t predict, but are due to happen. To plan even further to pay for co-pays and the deductible, you can also set up a flexible spending account with your company. The funds are automatically deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis each pay period and they can be used for health items like eyeglasses and dental care. Not only is the saving painless, but it also can give you more savings due to the pre-tax status. If you work for yourself, you can set up a Health Savings Account (HSA) instead, and roll over the savings if you don’t use them that year.

Repairs and Maintenance

Owning a car or a home can come with unexpected repair and maintenance costs. You might not know when you’ll have an emergency, but you know it will eventually happen. To avoid having to take out short-term loans that may be difficult to repay, you need to plan ahead and save now. Get registered for a home maintenance plan that can be as low as $50/month and cover major repairs like electrical problems in the home or bad appliances. Having a savings account set aside and using direct deposit to direct a portion of your paycheck to it can help you prepare for those emergencies.

Building an emergency fund is not difficult. It just needs to be consistent. If you have extra consider loaning it to family and friends, so that when your turn comes around they’ll be there for you, too.  If you automate savings and plan ahead it removes the stress of being caught short when bad things happen. It can be a wonderful feeling to know that the money is in the bank for a repair or replacement when the air conditioner fails during the height of summer or something else occurs that you may not have foreseen, but you were wise enough to plan for, regardless.

Do you know what a reimbursement accountant is?

excel screen shot, old excel, financial statementsWell I didn’t either so keep reading and you will find out.   Lately I have been thinking a lot about where I would like this blog to go in the future.  I have drawn out plans as to how I see it in the future.  While not working on the site in the past few days I have been deep in thought.  I conducted an interview for a newspaper and I have been busy at work.  This time of the year is especially busy in hospital finance. 

Each year as the financial audits are coming to a close, the reimbursement staff in hospitals are beginning to get their gears going.  They are driving through every statistic that makes up the hospital that they work at.  They are figuring out which dollars are for salaries, which are for benefits and which are just capital costs.  The reason you ask is why, why go through such great lengths to determine what a salary dollar for a nurse is or what a discharge in the ICU is. 

The way that capital costs and salary dollars are allocated to the specific departments can have an impact on how that particular operating unit is paid.  Understanding the payment systems of Medicaid and Medicare is no easy feat to grasp; I have been working here for 3.5 years and still at times have difficulty. 

The financial and statistical data is submitted to Medicare and Medicaid to analyze and put into the hospital rates in the future.  This report is filed annually for all the hospitals across the country that participates in the program.  This is a time consuming and arduous process that takes more than a month to complete, in fact I start working on it after the start of the New Year and do not finish until the end of May for Medicare and the end of June for Medicaid.  When completed each of the reports is close to 200 pages long.

What do you think; did you think there was much data compiled by Medicare and Medicaid?  This is in addition to all the government tax forms like the 990 and payroll stuff.  If you are bored Google CMS 2552-10 to find out about some of the forms that are necessary to be completed.  So with that said, I have revised my posting schedule for the time being to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

Go ahead and subscribe to my feedburner right now to stay up to date with This That and The MBA.

 PHOTO BY: MicrosoftSweden

When does padding become lying?

this that and the mba, carbonnyc, thinkingOne of the first posts I wrote about was writing a magnificent resume.  If you work hard for your credentials you certainly want to flaunt them and I fully support that, but I do not support falsifying your credentials.  Take a look at what is going on with the current Yahoo CEO. 

The Yahoo CEO supposedly claimed that he had a bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science.  It was found out through one of the members of the board of directors, coincidently a member whose organization is trying to get more seats on the board.  When does stretching the truth on your previous employment or educational credentials become falsifying. 

When you think about it you can really fluff up any job to make it seem like the work functions are much more complex than the actual tasks performed.  That is what professional resume writers do; they add fluff and critique your writing to what hiring managers want to see. 

With the availability of the internet at our fingers now, you really have to be careful to make sure that you do not commit resume fraud.  You can do a quick Google search on yourself to see what comes up and you may be pleasantly surprised.  According to Hire Right which is a firm that does background checks on resumes:

80% of all resumes are misleading
20% state fraudulent degrees
30% show altered employment dates
40% have inflated salary claims
30% have inaccurate job descriptions
27% give falsified references     

Is it ever acceptable to falsify anything on your resume?  What about if you say that you have done cost accounting but you have only viewed the materials that went into the costing?  Is that acceptable?

Photo By: CarbonNYC

Bookmark Some Sites & Start Saving Money

Sometimes people think that spending consciously is a total waste of time and incredibly difficult. Fortunately, this isn’t always true, and there are tons of little ways to save money. Sometimes this means going to the grocery store on a full stomach, and sometimes it means skipping on the yoga classes and buying some exercise videos at home instead. But there are even some common sense ways to save a buck or two – and you can do it right from your computer.

How, you ask? By taking advantage of a browser feature that has been around for more than a decade: bookmarking. You might think that bookmarking is just for your favorite webcomics and your daily news websites, but it’s so much more than that.

By adding a couple of various sites to your normal complement of websites in your list, you can save some serious moola. Some of them might already be in your bookmarks, but add a few more to increase your potential savings.

RetailMeNot.com is a valuable resource for coupon codes for absolutely everything. If you think something doesn’t have a coupon code, check Retail Me Not before you go and purchase something. It even has codes that have been used in the past and some that may be useful in the future, too – and it doesn’t require any fee or sign up. You have access to the codes right off the bat. The rating system is great, too, and codes that have worked for other users are at the top.

PrintableCalendar.ca saves you at least $12 on those incredibly overpriced stacks of paper you have to buy at the beginning of the year. If you take a trip to the dollar store you can usually find a limited selection too, but the calendars on this website are completely free. You can even enter special dates and events before you print, and you can choose from a few designs.

Your bank’s website may not seem like it will save you money, but being aware of where your finances are all of the time is extremely helpful when it comes to deciding whether or not you want to buy something. Now, you may not be enthusiastic about looking at your bank account every morning with your coffee, but having a good starting point of your financial picture in the morning is essential in having a fee-free day.

Financial blogs (like this one!) should be part of your routine as well. Not only does reading strong advice in the morning help guide your day, but often there is a snippet or two of advice that anyone could use in every blog post you’ll see there – and the advice is usually pretty good, too.  It’s also important to read about personal finances to keep yourself focused!

Review sites like amazon.com are also essential bookmarks. Buying a 47” TV without reading the reviews on sound and picture can be an absolute disaster, especially when you go to return it because it wasn’t what you wanted. Bookmark handy sites and look at them before you make a purchase – that way, you can be incredibly informed and not make a terrible mistake that will cost you a few hundred dollars in shipping fees to fix. Many people like to communicate with one another about the quality of an item – listen. It’s free.

Some of these bookmarks won’t work for you, but the ones that do will save you cash and more importantly, time. Consider finding your own money saving bookmarks and saving them all in a “finances” folder on your browser – that way, you’ll always have a quick and easy way to save some money.

Steven Clarkson is a writer for FranklinDebtRelief.com.  Visit FranklinDebtRelief.com for objective advice about debt relief options.

Do you really need money?

this that and the mba, dumpster dive, daniel sueloHave you ever heard of the cave dweller?  Dumpster forager?  What about Daniel Suelo?  Well I have news for you they may all be one in the same.  Daniel Suelo is a man who decided he didn’t need money anymore. 

What did you say?

That is right he decided he didn’t need money anymore.  So one day he walked out and put his last $30 dollars in a phone booth and hasn’t looked back.  That was 12 years ago.  He has been wandering the country since living off the land and others generosity.  He really takes it to heart when we say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  For Daniel it is his means of survival.   

Where would you ever get an idea like this?

For Daniel Suelo it was his 2 years in the Peace Corps that he saw the quality of life of an Ecuadorian village decline the more money that they spent.  They were spending money on TV’s and modern day conveniences.  He came to the conclusion that money was the underlying factor.  This idea fostered in his head for a while and then one day he decided to take the extreme measure and go on without money.  

Do you think you could walk away assuming you had no debt?  I know we all want to walk away from our debt!!!

 Photo By: Meaduva

What does the loss of a patent mean to a pharmaceutical company….

purple pill, viagra, celebrexThere was an article in the NY Times that said that Pfizer profit declined 19% after loss of patent for Lipitor.  The article points out that Pfizer is racing to reinvent itself as they are scheduled to lose 19 drug patents with a potential to lose $38.5 billion in sales.  For years big drug companies have been buying up smaller companies that showed a promise of bringing a new drug to the market.  They picked up where the little company left off and brought it out to the market place under the larger companies’ name.  What is next for the big pharmaceutical companies? 

Have you ever thought of what a patent means to a pharmaceutical company in terms of revenue? That is the companies bread and butter for the length of the patent.  Generally a patent within the United States is for 20 years but this is before clinical trials are performed.  The clinical trials can take between 8-18 years to perform, so in essence the manufacturer can have a monopoly for 8-12 years once the clinical trials are concluded. 

In a world where it can take up to $800 million dollars for a block buster new drug to be brought to the market losing a patent can be significant.  The market is soon flooded with generics and before you know it you have yourself the next Tylenol/pain reliever.   The generic drugs get to coat tail on the wings of the original patent holder too and absorb the marketing and branding efforts.  It is the norm now to go to the pharmacy and have your script filled with a generic, rarely does the physician write DAW (dispense as written). 

Are we in a world now where we may not have any new blockbuster drugs coming to the market anytime soon?  The article point out that big pharma is not investing in R & D as heavily as in the past.  Pfizer has reduced its research budget from $9.4 billion in 2010 to $6-7 billion.  What is on the horizon?

Photo by: DvortyGirl