Kyle and I had an argument recently about one of those nooks and crannies of our financial life that you could never predict would come up. When we were in premarital counseling, we agreed almost totally on how to (theoretically) manage our finances, but of course when it comes to implementation thing never go as smoothly as planned. You can agree on 95% of topics but still argue over the remaining 5%!
A few months ago I identified my top 5 values (God, marriage, security, health, community). Delineating these areas is supposed to help you make decisions about what to spend money on and what to skip. The idea is that you will get the best value for your money by spending in the areas that really matter to you.
I actually haven’t made many opportunities to spend money in any of these areas, with one exception. A couple months ago I had my annual physical exam and I elected to get a lipid panel so that I could see how my cholesterol has changed over the previous half-year. I agonized a little over the decision because I wasn’t sure if our insurance would cover it, but in the end I decided that our Medical targeted savings account could cover the copay.
Kyle disagreed that our Medical savings account should cover the copay. He called my interest in my health a hobby and argued that an elective test shouldn’t count as a medical expense. He was fine with me choosing to get the test done, but just thought we should try to cover it out of our monthly cash flow. I gave him my values argument but he has different values so it was difficult for him to understand. In general I would agree that an optional expense shouldn’t count toward the Medical account, but I thought that identifying health as a top value validated its importance.
We argued for a while and then dropped it because we weren’t getting anywhere. It turned out to only be a small copay that we could have covered out of either account. The issue remains unresolved. I’ve been encouraging Kyle to make his own list of top 5 values so that perhaps we can understand each other and make this a two-way street, but he has deferred so far.
What do you think about this situation – do elective medical procedures “count” as medical expenses? How willing are you to spend money on your top values?
photo from RambergMedialImages