A new year has arrived. While I love the whole feel of a fresh start that I always get going into January, it’s also a time when I really sit down and look at the way my household is run and where I can make changes to help save on everyday needs so that my family can do more of the things that we want to do. I’ll be the first to admit that balancing our financial needs and the things that we dream of doing can at times leave me feeling like I’m walking a tightrope. Our family of course needs everyday essentials like food and clothes and a roof over our head. However, just as importantly, we need medications. I’ve shared before that my oldest son is a Type 1 Diabetic so for us, medications are a big part of our budget. While this is just a fact of life, I’m not willing to let medication costs derail our dreams. You see, in the past few years my entire crew has discovered that we love to travel. We like seeing the world and spending time together. So one of my biggest resolutions back when January started was to find a way to marry our responsibilities (including our medical costs) with our love of travel and find a way to combine them seamlessly. Whether you’re wanting to travel more, saving for that dream home or have another financial goal, read on to find out my simple budgeting tips for busy families.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I’m not an expert. However, I did go to college and earn my degree in finance and I’ve pretty much always handled my family’s budget. While I will always put our responsibilities first, I also am a huge believer in creating moments the are unforgettable and those moments aren’t always free. As my oldest son has gotten older and is quickly approaching his college years, creating memories through travel has become much more of a priority for me. At first, when the fam and I decided that travel was important, we weren’t sure how to make it work. Like most American families, finding a balance between our needs and our wants was challenging to say the least. Then, two years ago when my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and hypothyroidism, things got even more challenging. You might relate to the feeling that I had when I thought I had finally gotten our budget where I wanted it and then medical expenses and prescriptions were added in. In order to keep our budget where I wanted it, fit in prescriptions and still allow funds for travel, I made three simple changes and I truly do believe that they can help busy families everywhere balance their budget and perhaps do more of what they want to. So, I’m sure you’re wondering what changes I made and I’m happy to tell you. I do mention that these things are not a magic bullet but simply a way of rethinking MY family’s budget that has worked well for us.
Create a Simple Family Budget (and Help Make Your Money Go Further)
So, before we could really implement our budget we had to create one. For us, creating or modifying our budget every January is just a part of our yearly routine. I fully realize that needs change during the year and spending can get off here and be out of whack there. That’s why I sit down each January with our bank statements and really take a look at where we’ve been spending money. Of course there are the typical items on our budget that pretty much everyone has like:
- Cell Phones
- Car Payment
However, we also have additional costs to budget it based on my son’s medical needs like:
- Insulin Pump/Dexcom Supplies
- Doctor’s Appointments
Listen to me when I say that even if you don’t have an ongoing medical condition, adding the cost of medical needs into the budget is just smart! Also listen to me when I say, put it ALL down on paper. Have solid numbers in front of you and solid financial goals for the year. I have found that a visual budget helps me see areas that I can cut expenses and find areas where my family has been wasteful (it happens!). This allows us to make the most of the money we bring home and find a way to balance our wants with our needs. Which leads me to my second tip:
Combine Shopping in Effective Ways
Trust me guys, Sam’s Club helps me save time and money. How you ask? Let me count the ways for you!
- Buying food in bulk makes sense and is less expensive. Do a comparison next time you shop and I bet you’ll discover the same thing.
- Finding a store that has more than just food saves time and gas money. Sam’s Club has food, kitchen supplies, bedding, prescriptions and more. Enough said, right?
- Picking up my prescriptions while I’m doing my shopping at Sam’s Club just makes sense. I’m already there AND with Rx Savings powered by America’s Pharmacy™ available at Sam’s Club, it’s possible to save even more on my prescriptions (more on this shortly).
As part of my budgeting strategy, I meal plan and then I buy my food in bulk so I’m at Sam’s Club at least twice a month. With my son being on about five monthly prescriptions, grabbing them while I’m there is a great way to save time and often save money as well! While it’s easy to see how I save time by filling prescriptions at Sam’s Club, let’s look a little more at how to possibly save money on prescriptions for yourself, your family and even your pet because, let me tell you, prescriptions savings can add up!
Use Rx Savings powered by America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club
If your family is like mine, you have monthly prescriptions most months. For us, prescriptions are a pretty big chunk of our budget so I’m always looking for ways to find the best prices around on the medications that we need. While I’ve been a Sam’s Club member for 20+ years (OMG!), I only recently discovered the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool provided by America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club and how to use it in conjunction with my Sam’s Club membership. Not only does this easy-to-use online tool provide ALL Sam’s Club members with discounts at Sam’s Club, it also provides discount information and comparisons for competitor stores. If you’re shocked, I was too but seriously, it’s the best time and money saving tool I’ve found in a long time. I will tell you that just with my son’s prescriptions, I’ve spent endless hours on the phone trying to call different pharmacies and compare different prices to get the best deal but now all I have to do is use the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool and let someone else do the time-consuming work for me (please note, this discount cannot be used with government programs like Medicare or Medicaid).
o understand why checking prescriptions with the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool can be an essential part of budgeting, it’s important to understand how most pharmacies work. Most pharmacies charge the retail price for prescriptions for people who aren’t insured. If you haven’t already experienced this yourself, let me assure you that these prices can be quite high. However, America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club does things a little differently. Their goal is to help you save where you can with savings of up to 80% (average savings are 54% on prescriptions from your doctor). Even better, you don’t have to ask or beg for these savings (trust me, I’ve been there). Instead, you simply show your Sam’s Club membership card or bring your America’s Pharmacy Card or coupon (many coupons can be found directly on the site) to the pharmacist and they will automatically ensure you get the lowest prices available through the program.
So how do you get access to America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club saving? Thankfully (for you and me) it’s easy! All Sam’s Club members can benefit and have access to these savings. I was able to find savings on some of my son’s medications in this way simply by visiting the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool and entering his medication as well as our address. With generic prescriptions starting as low as $4 it’s just smart budgeting to stop what you’re doing right now and run your prescriptions through this tool!
Once I’ve entered my prescription (or in this case my son’s), I’m able to see what I would pay using America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club and compare the price with other stores near me.
Then, since I already have a Sam’s Card membership, I’m able to get a great price on prescriptions for my son and truthfully our entire family. But the savings don’t stop with generic prescriptions. The RxSavings Price Transparency Tool can also help me find savings on name brand drugs and even pet meds (I had no idea guys and again, this has been a money saving tip that has helped our family greatly!). I’m serious when I say that Sam’s Club and the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool give everyone the opportunity to save on prescription medications for every member of their family. Plus, once I’ve found the best price, had my doctor transfer my prescriptions and gone to pick them up, I never feel rushed by the pharmacist. They are always willing to take the time to talk to me in store or online and answer any questions I may have. Even better, when I have a written prescription (like when my youngest recently got an ear infection recently) I can simply drop off the prescription when I enter the store and I know it will always be filled quickly (generally during the time I’m doing my regular shopping trip).
While every person’s results will differ slightly based on their own prescriptions and needs, I highly encourage you to try the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool powered by America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club because truthfully, using it has been one of the quickest and easiest ways I’ve found to save more. While the benefits of using the Sam’s Club Pharmacy are available to all members, I also highly encourage you to look into a Plus membership. We upgraded a few years ago and it’s been such a good move for us! Now, using my Sam’s Club Plus membership I can save even more with benefits like getting up to five FREE select generic prescriptions, exclusive discounts and more. While one medication may only be a few dollar’s savings, when I combine all the medications that my entire family uses, the savings more than pay for my Sam’s Club Plus membership and have even allowed me to budget more travel fun into our monthly expenses! That means that for me, I never wonder if medications are going to throw my monthly budget off track. Instead, I know I’m finding the best prices available using the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool from American’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club. Pairing that with picking up my family’s prescriptions at Sam’s Club means that while I’ll never not need to budget, I can find more room in the budget for the things we need AND the things we want….like visiting tropical locations during these long winter months.
Now it’s your turn. We’re only a month into the new year and it’s definitely not too late to make a budget, stick to it and find ways to do more of what you love by being smart about finding savings. Start by using the RxSavings Price Transparency Tool from America’s Pharmacy at Sam’s Club today and you just might discover that saving on your family’s medications is the perfect way to start a travel fund, save a down payment toward your next home or chase any of your many dreams.
Sam’s Club Plus Program: Available only to Sam’s Club Plus Members at Sam’s Club Pharmacy locations. Not available on SamClub.com. Only quantity, formulation, and strength stated on the Sam’s Club Drug list for Plus Members covered at the price listed (or free). See SamsClub.com/RxSavings for the list of drugs and pricing. Covered prescriptions could change. There will be an additional cost for quantities greater than listed quantity. Not available if listed prescription is part of a compound or to purchases submitted to any health benefit program, pharmacy benefit program, insurer, or state/federal government health care program. May not combine with other offers. Free drugs not available in CA, GA, HI, MA, MD, ME, MN, OK, PA, PR, SC, WI. Sam’s Club Drug List price not available in Puerto Rico. Discount savings are based on the dispensing Sam’s Club Pharmacy’s regular retail cash price. Program pricing may be limited to in stock items by select manufacturers of a covered drug at the dispensing pharmacy. Taxes or other fees may apply. Other restrictions apply. Terms subject to change without notice. See SamsClub.com or your local Sam’s Club Pharmacy for details.
Rx Savings Powered by America’s Pharmacy: PROGRAM IS NOT INSURANCE OR A MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN. Program is free for Sam’s Club Members and others that enroll through MedImpact. Program discounts are available exclusively through participating pharmacies, which include but are not limited to Sam’s Club pharmacies. The offering of generic prescriptions starting at $4 is available at Sam’s Club pharmacies only. The Program may not be used in conjunction with any insurance or Federal/State healthcare programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Members must pay for prescriptions at the time of service. The Program does not make payments directly to pharmacies. Use of the Program does not guarantee the quality of the services or products offered by participating pharmacies. For full terms and conditions, visit americaspharmacy.com/samsclub. The range of discounts will vary depending on medication and pharmacy chosen. Average Program savings of 54%, potential savings up to 80% (based on 2017 national program savings data). Members may cancel Program registration at any time or file a complaint by contacting MedImpact Customer Care. Program is administered by MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc., 10181 Scripps Gateway Ct., San Diego, CA 92131. If a Member remains dissatisfied after receiving MedImpact’s response to a complaint, the Member may contact the Member’s state department of insurance.