Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cheap vs Frugal


I'm really having a bad year... this past weekend, I was riding my bike, minding my own business when this Neanderthal, weekend-warrior, ape-like, a-hole tried to pass me on his bike. Problem was that he didn't know what he was doing and ran into me causing me to fall... subsequently causing me to break my clavicle. I had to call 911 and was taken to the nearest emergency room.(I had my first car accident... not at fault... earlier this year). Needless to say, I can't wait until 2006 is over.

Kind of a long introduction to get to my point which is... there is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. I consider myself frugal...I try to find deals when they are available, save money, etc... but buy quality items for things that are important to me (for example, I would much rather buy soft toilet paper that is more expensive than the newspaper-like shit they have at walmart).

How does this relate to my recent accident? One of those things that I think the majority of Americans skimp on is healthcare. I have a PPO plan which gives me options in terms of seeing people out of network.. it's a bit more expensive than an HMO plan but there aren't as many limitations (to see specialists, etc.) It's amazing to see people pay extra for that warranty on their car or extend the warranty on an ipod... yet have the shittiest healthcare plan that limits your options in seeing who you need to see (i.e. HMO plans). What I think is that most people, especially young people in their 20s and 30s, feel that they are healthy and don't need medical care.... probably true for most people but you just don't want to be at the mercy of your healthcare plan in times of medical need.

With my recent car accident and biking injury... I suddenly feel more vulnerable than I felt in my 20s when you feel nearly invincible. While I skimped (and probably shouldn't have) on my car insurance plan by not purchasing collision coverage... I'm sure glad that I have pretty good health insurance.

I recommend doing the same thing the next time you purchase an extended warranty for any product. Think about your healthcare plan and ask yourself is this really what want when you're lying in bed in an ER hoping that the injury or sickness you have is not serious.
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