1 Million Dollars

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare and you....

I do try to keep this blog anti-political because I am political enough in the real world but sometimes, politics affects personal economy. And the Supreme Court ruling that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare is constitutional will affect all young people's personal economy.

If you are under 26, great for you, you will still be covered under your parent's insurance, no matter if you are in school or not, if you are single or married, anything. It is all age based now. However, what happens if your parents don't have health insurance or once you age out?

You must find insurance, either through your employer or on the open market. You will have an easier time finding insurance on the open market in 2014 because insurers cannot deny you based on medical conditions. But they can increase the bill way beyond what you can afford, what then? Well you have to find something or get fined. An adult who does not have health insurance by 2014 would be penalized $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater, so long as the amount does not exceed the price tag of a basic health plan. But by 2016, the penalty increases to $695 for an uninsured adult, and up to $2,085 per household, or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater.

What if you really cannot afford it? Well it depends. Medicaid is being increased to cover people with 138% of the federal poverty level but that won't cover most people. I made more than that working part time in college. Otherwise, there are tax credits if you are above the 138% cut off but are still low income. But that be enough? For some people, absolutely not, especially if you lose your job. Personally I would still be saving enough in your EF to cover COBRA.

So what is my opinion? I like it but I was one of those who aged out of their parent's plan and was unable to get a private plan for any amount of money. I ended up COBRAing my mom's insurance for a total of $550 per month. Also, this means those who want to retire early but could not because of pre-existing conditions now (well in 2014) can. However, I am betting health insurance costs will go up so plan for a big jump in those costs in near future.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Frugal Student Is Going Back To School

As of August of this year I will be a master's student in neuroscience. This means less income and more expenses but it also means that I am one more step closer to my goal. It looks like the first semester cost will be $5615.75 plus books. Because graduate students are no longer able to take out subsidized loans as of this year, last year we took out $8500 worth of subsidized loans under my husband's name. Those loans will pay this semester, and most of next semester but will be due sooner than if I was still able to take out my own subsidized loans. So you might ask, what are we doing to keep costs down?
First, the school accepts discover, not just cash or check to pay for tuition without any fees so tuition will be paid by discover, earn me a $56 credit on my discover credit card. We will be turn $45 of that into a cvs gift card to pay for the grocery game. Secondly, for any books I need, I will be buying used and if the best price is on amazon I will be using my swagbuck earned gift cards. Third, since I will be going back to school, my undergraduate loans are going to be deferred again. That will save me $30 per month. Fourth, all money normally being save will be going to our new expenses, that includes: emergency savings, future car savings, replacement savings for computers and other electronics and of course all money coming from our rental, which means no more retirement savings. That will bring in about $540 per month, any month we have a tenant. We really are going to have to buckle down to keep expense low and not to get much more debt. Fifth, we will be taking advantage of the federal taxes laws and taking the credit for the student fees/tuition. We have already run the numbers and will be increasing our exceptions on my husband's W-4 to get more money per paycheck, instead of waiting till April of 2013. I am not sure how much this will save us, I will report back after we update the W-4. Any other ideas for frugal savings? Post in the comments.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Millionaire Update-May 2012

In the last month we added $417 to our account but because of the stock market, gained less than $20. We now are at $12420. Right now is a very risky time to be in the stock market. I fully expect it to crash again if Greece does not repay its' debts. However, never in the history of the stock market, has the stock market not increased on an average of 10% over 30-40 years and that is the time line I am looking at. If nothing else, I am buying, and will continue to buy low. I will continue to receive dividends and that will increase the value of the stocks I hold. This shows that you should never put anymore you need within ten years into the stock market.