Our family of five does not have health insurance – or at least in the traditional sense. We have a Healthcare Sharing Ministry which we love (seriously, it saves us so much money). The downside, though is that we don’t have vision or dental insurance. So to remedy that, we have a dental plan through 1Dental. And honestly, our dental plan is better than our old dental insurance plan. They paid for over half of our oldest child’s braces!
Since we don’t have vision insurance, I had to pay for my eye appointment out of pocket as well as purchase new glasses. It had been a decade since I had my vision looked at and had new glasses. But you know what? I spent way less this time than I did ten years ago when I had vision insurance! Ten years ago, my eye appointment along with my eyeglasses, cost me $325! For real.
This time? The total cost was $225! I saved $100 by not having vision insurance. Not to mention the savings of not paying for vision insurance in the first place. Anyway, I wanted to share with you what I did and how I saved in case you either don’t have vision insurance like me, or you’re looking for more ways to save.
Okay, so I don’t have anything seriously wrong with my vision. I’m nearsighted, but not bad. Therefore, if you have serious issues with your vision, you may need to see an Opthomogolist versus an Optometrist. That said, one of the reasons I was able to save is because I only had to see an Optometrist. I went through MyEyeDr and walked out of the appointment only paying $126. The exam itself was only $99. I paid $27 extra to have the retinol scan done.
While I was at MyEyeDr I looked at the frames they had but the cheapest one they had was $200 – lens not included! I knew immediately that I wasn’t buying my glasses there. I asked for my prescription as I paid the bill and took the prescription home to order my glasses online.
Ordering Glasses Online
I’ve ordered eyeglasses online before through Zenni for my preschool-age daughter. However, I had a budget of $150 for my eyeglasses as I wanted a pair to last me for a long time. I ended up ordering mine through Warby Parker. Warby Parker does offer a try-on of five glasses for free however, it looks like because of Covid they are temporarily no longer offering it. I’ll be honest that this made me nervous as I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the glasses.
However, I really love these glasses! They are sturdy and comfortable. Best of all, I paid only $99 for them!
Keeping Up with Expenses
Since we don’t have traditional health insurance, I keep a file folder for all of our tax-related stuff for the year. Anytime there’s a tax-related expense or medical expense I put the receipt in that file folder. That way at tax time, I don’t have to hunt for documents or receipts! Therefore, I put both the receipt from MyEyeDr and the one from Warby Parker in my file folder to submit to the CPA at tax time!
Other Ways to Save
Since I purchased my eyeglasses online, I made sure to check out both Rakuten and Swagbucks first before heading to Warby Parker. Why? Because with both Rakuten and Swagbucks you can earn cashback from your online shopping! For this particular purchase, both Swagbucks and Rakuten offered 1% back. I ultimately went with Rakuten because I wanted the actual cash back. With Swagbucks you earn “SBs” which you can cash out for gift cards (which I love to do!) but with Rakuten you get actual cash back. Sometimes Swagbucks has the better deal so I’ll shop through them first but in this case, Rakuten had the better deal. But definitely keep these two sites in mind when you’re doing your online shopping! The cash back really adds up (and best part is, you don’t have to go into debt to earn it!).
The Beauty of Sinking Funds
If you’re struggling to afford medical-related expenses when they pop up, I want to encourage you to set up sinking funds. Sinking Funds are separate from your Emergency Fund but are a great way to stretching your budget further! For us, we didn’t have to come out of our household budget to pay for my eye exam or glasses. Our Medical Sinking Fund paid for it! All I had to do was use the debit card to that checking account to pay for the services. Now, please don’t get me wrong, when my middle child broke his arm that was an Emergency Fund expense as there was no real way to prepare in advance for it. With expenses like yearly exams, you know about them ahead of time and can prepare in your household budget for them. For more on Sinking Funds, head here to watch my video where I explain them in more detail.
Okay, so do you have vision insurance? If not, if you use an online retailer for eyeglasses I’d love to know how much you’ve saved!
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