I know you get the mail just as I do, and there are some days when I would prefer the mailman to just skip over my house and not deliver the mail unless he had REFUNDS to deliver! I was being a little stubborn this week and opted not open my mail until the weekend. I just didn’t want to bother myself with looking at the unlimited amount of debt that was pilling up already. Some left over from 2012 and the new ones from 2013.

As God states in his word, regardless of the many “hats” we wear — Mom, Dad, Husband, Wife, Worker, Church Leader and Friend — we are to place our faith and trust in God alone and he will supply our every need. It has surely worked for us over the years. Even when the seeds of doubt and pride tend to get in the way, God steps in and reminds me HE is in Control and I am not!

Luke 12:22-34 (NIV)

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

As the new year begins I wanted to share with you the TOP 5 Money Saving Tips I’ve learned over the last three years that has helped us save a few bucks as well as organize to save time when it’s time to prepare our taxes.

  1. Organize your medical bills. We migrated this year from a file cabinet to a 3 Ring Notebook which works so much better for us. Just note you may need more than one. Whether you use a file cabinet and folder or a notebook, I would suggest the following:
    a. Create a tab or folder for each company.
    b. Place the most current bill on top so you have the most recent “total” and “due date”.
    c. Mark on the bill the amount paid, who you spoke with, the date you paid the bill, confirmation number and what account you paid it from.
    d. Ask for the TOTAL you owe after the payment was made. They can provide this to you on the phone.
  2. Ask for a Discount. If you plan to PAY the BALANCE in full then request a discount. I have gotten up to 35% discount before, especially with hospitals. Of course this depends on the type of insurance policy you carry. I always ask! You can also request a payment plan at ZERO percent interest!
  3. Double check your bills. I know this is a pain but we have been double charged for therapy TWICE. So double check your bills and statements from your insurance company.
  4. Check your Explanation of Benefits. More than once we were declined services that WERE covered under our medical plan and after the appeal (which in our case was just a letter from us, a letter from our doctor and our therapist) we were 100% covered!
    Note: For us, I request our EOB’s thru the mail and have one notebook just for the EOB’s. I have tabs by month and then place them in DATE of SERVICE order. I cross check them against the bills from the therapist and doctors. Because of the type of insurance I have, I have to pay out of pocket for services so I want to ensure we are getting coverage for everything we should be and I’m paying for only one time. You may not have to go to this extreme.
  5. Log your Mileage. I learned last year (you may already know this!) that you can itemize your mileage to and from the doctor, pharmacy, therapy visits, vendor visits and dentist. I suggest a log book or at least writing down all your appointments in a calendar. You can go back and calculate the mileage to and from each location as long as you know the date.

Good Luck in 2013! I know so many of you personally that live with Spina Bifida and all the complications and BILLS that come with it. I know the path is not easy and the road is long but I know that God ordained each of us with a special blessing and purpose. If you have tips of your own please share them with us! We are only three years into our journey and we are continuing to learn!

Christie Rainwater is wife to Tommy Rainwater and mom to Noah (11), Emma (9) and Luke (2). Luke was born with Spina Bifida in 2009. Christie works full time, teaches Bible studies for women and endeavors to promote Spina Bifida awareness. Along with her family, she has a passion for families with special needs, especially those with Spina Bifida. Christie has been teaching and working with Women for over 10 years, has worked with children and youth and is an active member of her community.