Saturday, March 5, 2011

Money saving wonders of the world

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some wonderful Frugal Rock happenings to report, mostly in the field of saving a bit of money.

First of all, in response to my previous post, I sent an email to United Airlines about my trip to L.A. and how awful it was, and, as expected, they replied with an email apologizing and agreeing with me that I should have been offered more for their double-booking my seat.  So as a result of writing a letter, I now have a $400 CREDIT to be used on future flights!  Woo hoo!

You know, it's really easy to come back from a trip and whine and moan about how it went or how badly you may have been treated.  And how many times do we just vent about it but think to ourselves, "Oh well.  I guess there's nothing I can do about it."  SAYS WHO?  By simply writing an indignant email, subsequently venting into the email and describing exactly what happened on my trip, I have now been given an extra 400 bucks....all for an email that took maybe 5 minutes.  Well worth it, I should say!  Had I simply come back and complained about it, not only would I risk losing friends, but it really wouldn't be very productive.

So write your letters, folks.  You'd be surprised what you can get.

My second Frugal Rock victory is in reference to a wonderful sublet I just got for New York City.  I will be singing with New York City Opera in March/April for about 3 weeks, and I decided to check out the sublet scene to have a place to stay.  Went to craigslist, found a guy leaving for Europe on business the EXACT DAYS I will be in NY.  I was in New York for an audition last weekend, so I went to his place to meet him and see the apartment.  For the wonderful price of $400, I will be living in Washington Heights, a block away from the A train, and about 15 minute ride to Lincoln Center.  Hecks to the yeah.  I gave him the money, he gave me the keys, and I checked them to make sure they work on my way out.  Keep in mind that NYCO pays a per diem rate to cover living expenses.  When all is said and done, I'm going to be pocketing a hefty chunk of change because of what they're giving me versus what I'm paying for my NY apartment.


In other news, I went to the dentist yesterday.  Yikes and double yikes.  I have my own insurance, but it does not include dental.  I realize that this is not a good idea, but for an individual buying private insurance plans, IT SUCKS.  For those teachers, government employees out there thinking I'm stupid to not have dental, go bask in your government benefits.  You are a lucky breed.

That for an individual purchasing a dental plan, you have to pay into the plan for ONE YEAR before you receive ANY BENEFITS?  And even after a year, you are only covered for UP TO 50%!  What the hell? I don't see how this system helps people.  It needs to change, folks, it needs to change.  For a self-employed  free-lance worker, insurance is the pits.  When it comes down to it, it's not worth it.  And that shouldn't be the way.

Okay, enough about that...not a political blog.  Back to my dentist story.

So I don't have dental insurance.

I figured I had a cavity or something, because I had a toothache that started a couple of weeks ago.  I purchased a handy dental coupon for a teeth cleaning, examination, and X-Rays for only $50!  (this is a $400 value, friends).  If you're not getting your groupon, I highly suggest it.

As I thought, I do have a cavity.  Dang.  I brush and floss every day, but sometimes chocolate ice cream is just going to come back and bite you in the arss.  THEN I'm informed that I need a new crown.  Dang number two.

Any idea how much stuff like that costs to the uninsured??

Well I will tell you:
1 filling = $300
1 crown = $1,700+
GRAND TOTAL = $2,000+ 

And...Frugal Rock takes a nose dive into the pit of despair.  

But, friends, this is a stingy blog, and I always come up with a money saving solution.  And here it is:

I gave my friends at the Boston University Dental School a call, and here's what I found out: I can go in to the school and get an appointment for $70.  Not bad.  When they tell me exactly what the other folks told me needs to be done, here is what it is going to cost:

1 crown = $580
1 filling = $62
GRAND TOTAL = $712!!!

And that, my friends, is a whopping savings of $1,300+

You're welcome.  

When all is said and done, I will actually come out on top on this one.  Had I paid into a dental plan for A YEAR before I went in for this appointment, I trust I would have spent well over $700, and I would have had to still pay for a hefty portion of the bill.

Score 1,300 for the STINGY TRAVELER.

Happy savings, friends.

And...even if it is going to cost you a bit, take care of your teeth.  Go to the dentist.  At the end of the day, I know I have to have this stuff done because no one wants to see me make my Met debut with a Jack-O-Lantern smile :)