Budgeting's a pretty smart idea—my dad taught me that one. Allocate your funds where they need to go and know where they're going. Think about all the basics and all the luxuries. But one thing I learned on my own is it's difficult to budget when you have no idea how much something is going to cost—especially when you can be off by $50,000 or so.

When it comes to health care, there's no reliable way to estimate how much a procedure's going to cost. And (lucky for us), a new government report tells us there's nothing we can do about it.

To even have a slight concept of what we have to pay for a health care service, we'd need to know exactly what treatment and services we're going to receive, the negotiated rates each medical provider involved in our care charges for those procedures, and exactly how our insurance plan is structured in terms of coverage and deductibles.

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