Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Unexpected

You may well be wondering what these are ? They are acrylic retainers which MasterShoestring was fitted with about a year ago when his braces came out. You get 1 set free and then subsequently have to pay for them so he has been quite careful with them and one day when he could not remember where he had put them we turned the house upside down to find them !

However, he has been mentioning for a month now that the bottom one has developed a couple of cracks and that I should telephone the orthodontist to arrange a replacement before it breaks altogether. So I did that today and we have an appointment in 10 days time, which is good for the orthodontist who often has a waiting list of 6 weeks. The bad news is that we will have to pay for them and the price is steep ! The budget will now have to include a charge of £70.10 which I had not reckoned on at the start of the month. Of course, we can afford it as we have savings and an emergency fund. I just would rather not fork out so much during the month we had earmarked as 'extra frugal'. It also means that I will have to top up the amount in the dental column in the budget by about 6 pounds a month and that is dependent on the top one not needing replaced this year.

It looks as if it might be sensible to reckon on replacing each retainer on a yearly basis up to the age of 21 when he can stop wearing them and thereby add another 12 pounds to the budget each month ! Hmm, moneysaving will have to go into overdrive or extra income will need to be found.

As our little extra expense shows, it is really important to be prepared for unexpected expenses over which you have no control !


  1. Useful note. I'm about to get braces in my fifties! I was looking up retainers yesterday to see what they looked like. Your pic is the most informative. I will budget on replacing each year at 140 in total then, as I am practising frugalness pre-retirement.

  2. Dear Anna,

    There are all sorts of retainers, depending on what your orthodontic needs are. Some of them have more chunky plastic and wires ! But these are the usual sort ! It would be worth asking your orthodontist to give you a rough figure as the figure in the blog is the NHS cost because Master Shoestring is under 18 ! As you are probably discovering orthodontic treatment is definitely something to budget for ! It is really worth it, I'm sure that you will be delighted with the results so good luck with it !