All the coupon-clipping, rebating, and saving scheming came down to one important moment for my daughter.
Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: This week, I had a terrible scare. We had gotten a referral for a pediatric ophthalmologist for my 4-year-old daughter. She had been part of an eye study, and a recommendation came back for further evaluation. It was probably nothing, we thought, maybe a false positive, but while we were waiting for the referral to come through, we noticed a very slight occasional crossing of one eye. Better to get it checked out, we reassured ourselves.
Then, the day of her appointment, it was dramatically worse. A complete and almost constant crossing of one eye, and complaints of seeing "two of the same thing ..." At the doctor's, we found that her farsightedness (which hadn't been a big deal at her last appointment) was causing her to turn her eye inward when she would strain to focus. Glasses might fix it, but it was pretty severe. It was looking like surgery, and maybe more than one. We went over with her to look at the glasses, and looked at all the choices for kids, and I helped her choose a cute pink pair. I gave the optician our insurance information and we left -- only to find out later that the insurance would cover only a portion of the cost. We spent a few days watching her condition get worse, Googling "strabismus" until far into the night. The glasses were ready the other day, and when she put them on, her eyes looked great. She smiled and said, "Mom, my eyes aren't crossing anymore!" We have more appointments coming up, but are cautiously optimistic that the cause of the problem is ocular and not neurological.
What I realized is that I didn't ask the cost of anything -- not once. I can't think of that ever happening. I wanted her to get whatever glasses she wanted that would fit right and help her. I would have spent every penny I've ever saved if it would make her better. All the researching and comparing prices and deals and rebates and cash back ... that's what it's all for -- saving so you have it to spend on the people and things that matter most to you.
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!