Weekly Update: Week 17


This week, I got a surprise bill in the mail I was not expecting.  When I prioritized my health and went to the doctor regarding some lingering pain, they gave me a foot brace. When I say they “gave me a foot brace,” what I really mean is, they asked me my shoe size and, without further discussion, they put the brace on my leg.

When I asked how much it would cost, I was nonchalantly told “your insurance should cover it.”  (To give them the maximum benefit of the doubt, they may have said “your insurance should cover most of it.” I don’t remember which. Either way, they brushed off my question and refused to even ballpark the number.) Naively, I accepted the brace, thinking I might be charged a nominal amount if my insurance didn’t cover it all, maybe $50 or less.  I received a bill in the mail for $155.66. If I’d had any idea it would be even close to that amount, I would not have accepted the brace.

They were technically correct–The insurance company was billed $400, and in fact paid “most of it.”  This same brace can be purchased online for as little as $80.  I should have known better and not simply taken the brace without insisting on knowing the cost, but they refused to tell me.  So, begrudgingly, that is what I spent money on this week.  Learn from my example and do not accept any treatment/test/service/device from a doctor without at least an estimate of the cost.

I finally took my car back to the shop this week.  When I took it in previously, they noticed a leak and put dye in the fluids so they could diagnose where the leaks were coming from. Well, the estimate was over $1,600 this time.  Unfortunately, one of the things that happens with older cars is that seals start to fail and they start to leak.  It doesn’t seem to be a particularly bad leak — I’ve never had noticeably low oil levels before.  If worse comes to worse, these repairs can be done more economically in conjunction with another repair down the line: the parts are actually pretty inexpensive, but the amount of labor that would go into taking all the necessary stuff apart to replace the seals is what makes it expensive.

I submitted photos of my duffel bag to the company and got good news back–it’s covered under the warranty! However, they charge a $50 processing/handling fee for warranty service for luggage. I bought the bag on sale for $49.99 + tax in the first place 6 years ago; however, the bags retail for $130+. This particular model is discontinued, so they will likely repair it or replace it with a “comparable item.” Everything currently on their website is ugly in my opinion and I don’t think I would want any of it.  It’s a shame, really.

I mentioned before that Bar fees for the year are due.  I finally got the nerve to ask my boss if the firm could reimburse me the $265, and he agreed!  That should help out with some of these recent unanticipated expenses.


  1. Embroidered Denim Jacket.  This jacket was on sale on Rue La La (I REALLY should delete that app.)  Back in March, before this year of buying nothing began, Loft had a sale, which included a classic denim jacket. I thought a denim jacket might be a more sophisticated alternative to a hoodie when the weather is cooler.  It was plain, medium dark wash; nothing exciting.  Even on sale, it was more expensive than this cool, embroidered denim jacket.  I keep telling myself that the plain jacket is a classic piece and the embroidery will eventually make the jacket look dated or too young for me.  The classic, unembellished denim jacket I bought is timeless and will look good for years to come.  Even if it is a little boring comparatively.

Denim jacket embroidered

2. Loft denim shorts.  Several years ago, the last time I was buying denim shorts, I had the hardest time finding some that were not intentionally ripped/stained/etc. and the shorts I currently have might be a little age-inappropriate now as a result. When I thought of the denim jacket I bought from Loft, I decided to look at Loft’s website and see how much the jacket cost now. It is still listed for $30 more than I paid for it back when it was on sale (SCORE!).  The downside was that I saw the sale they were having–50% off.  I really wanted to buy these shorts, but I can wait until the year of buying nothing is over to buy new shorts.

Denim shorts

Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $60

Running Total: $1953


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