Friday, August 21, 2009

Helping the Economy!

I do my best to help this stagnant economy. At least I think I do. On a fixed income consisting of a pension and a SS check I am still out there making purchases.

And I do it in the local stores in my area. I go to Mandee's. I go to Job Lot. I'm often seen at WalMart. I go to either Price Chopper, Stop and Shop, or the IGA's.

I figure every little bit helps. We get the things we need, and these businesses stay in business and pay their employees.

This is pretty much what it takes to keep any economy going, stabilizing it to the point that jobs can be created. When that happens, then we've got more people going into the workforce that coming out and who in turn are able to do what I'm doing, which is helping a stagnant economy.

Except at times people like me on that fixed income might use a helping hand in terms of a break in the pricing of these goods and services.

I went to a local HealthTrax facility to see if I could join at a reasonable price that would not seriously jeopardize my budgeted monthly expenses and put it at risk.

This is a facility that once housed tennis courts and held local tennis matches. It is a facility that my late husband frequented quite often, playing in these matches, as well as playing in tournaments that built him a solid reputation as a tennis pro.

I think the match that he would always remember is the one he played during a yearly tournament called the Ralph Strong Tournament where he and his partner John played against Ralph Strong (84) and his partner (50's.)

Bob and John were still in their 30's. Both avid and capable players they ended up losing the match and afterward expressing the fact that Ralph was a very consistent player and very seldom missed the ball as it came over the net.

Although I myself never became a competitive player, I can still hit a forehand, backhand, and overhand and get the ball in the right spot.

Needless to say the faciilty held good memories until this past Tuesday when I decided to go and see what specials they had going. And they did have a special going, as well as an open house. My granddaughter accompanied me and was excited at the prospect of her grammie becoming a member. For an additional fee I would have been able to bring her during school vacations.

In an earlier post I think I related the fact I once belonged to Gold's and when my healthcare costs went up, I had to cut out that monthly expense of $37. In fact every year as my healthcare cost creep higher, I try to cut down on something else.

But with the way the economy is at this point, in the back of my mind I thought just maybe I could get a really good deal and pay less than the $37. But alas, instead the cost even paying ahead turned out to be $41 a month, so an increase. Fixed incomes don't really allow for these increases.

Still I thought maybe I could come home and mull it over, go over my budget figures, see what I might be able to make this work. I told the "salesperson" this. That day they were willing to waive a $30 fee if I signed up right then and there. She then tells me to wait a second while she checks with her boss to see if this was the best deal they can give me. She comes back and tells me that if I wait until Friday to give them an answer, then they would have to charge me the $30 fee. I'm thinking "hard ball tactics" which grates against my soul in a way that puts me immediately on the defense.

Do they not see that all this looks like is that I'm penalized for wanting to think this over rather than sign a contract for close to $600. Then they're telling me that some insurances will cover the whole costs. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't although they are in some program called GlobalFit where a discount can be given anywhere from 10% to 60%. This I've been given, a whopping 10%. Still the monthly fee is $41.

Three days later the phone periodically rings and it is the health facility calling. I don't plan to answer and am looking into another facility where the rates are low, though they don't offer as much as this first one.

Still, for me it's a place to go where I can get fit and socialize. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles. And hopefully this one will fit into my tightening budget, because I'm sure with the way things are going in this nation, what with obesity dangerously on the rise, my healthcare costs will continue to soar and I will be paying that ER visit for someone who has not healthcare insurance, but loves and mindlessly indulges in all that fast food at McDonalds, Burger King, and Pizza Hut.

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