How to Keep Finances in Order with a Chronic Illness
Today’s post about dealing with financial issues while having a chronic illness on Misfit Mama Bear Haven is sponsored by Mason Finance.
Before I got married and had kids, I thought I had it all figured out in regards to my career and how I was going to be able to pay my student loans and have the life I wanted. What I never planned happening was getting hit by a car right before my wedding and having all those dreams ripped away in the blink of an eye. Because of what happened that day, I deal with chronic pain every day, and its effects sometimes cause strain on our finances. If you have a chronic illness, I am sure that you have struggled with finances as well, so I want to take some time and talk about ways to alleviate some of that stress.
I know budgeting seems like the most basic adulting thing out there, but so many people I know struggle with it. In fact, despite my struggles with memory and brain fog because of my traumatic brain injury (TBI for short), I am the one that does the budgeting in this household. Because of my chronic illness, the long wait to find out just what all is wrong with me and get treatment, and then having my husband lose his job in the midst of it, we had a huge financial crisis a few years ago. Creating a solid budget helped us bounce back, and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a budget for everything such as our utilities, gas, groceries, homeschool, prescriptions, and even a miscellaneous fund to cover things like new clothes for the kids and unexpected repairs. I have a whole section on Pinterest in which I use to help keep us on track. Creating and sticking to a budget can help you figure out where your money goes and help you find ways to cut costs. Also, if you budget is more than the money you make, then you need to find ways to cut costs.
For example, you may find in doing your budget that your cell phone bill is pretty high. Your next step should be to call the carrier and find out if there are any deals or any ways to cut costs. If there are not, you can always shop around carriers to see if somewhere else has a better deal. You can try to see if your utilities offer budget plans. These are some of the first things we did in lowering our monthly budget. Recently, I sat down with my husband and went over all of this again. We found ways to cut the cell phone bill, the auto insurance, and our homeowner’s insurance. You should evaluate these at least every six months just to see if you are getting the best deals.
Find Extra Ways to Make Money
Kids are expensive, and even if you have a chronic illness, you can still have kids and be a great parent. However, having a chronic illness and being a parent can be exhausting. For me, holding a traditional job is completely out of the question. My migraines alone are debilitating and sometimes give stroke-like symptoms. In fact, for those of you who have been reading my blog for the long haul, you know that up until sometime last year, my blog was pretty sporadic for a few years because of my chronic illness and that I had to give up my event planning business and toy store. That being said, chronic illness doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative in making money.
For me, blogging is something I love, and using my social media skills has been a good way to bring extra income. It takes time to get started (so if this is something you want to do to earn money, be prepared to be patient and wait), and I highly recommend that you take lots of free courses and webinars in learning ins and outs of what it takes to be successful. Also, you have to enjoy writing and not mind taking pictures at locations while people stare at you like you are nuts. I am at the point where I don’t even care anymore, but it took a while to get to that point.
You could also start an online business. I know quite a few moms that make bank selling their kids’ clothes online through E-Bay and online groups. If you are crafty, you could make what you love and go to craft fairs. I used to do quite well at them with my old business. While I am not a fan of a lot of Direct Selling businesses, I know some people that do well doing it or earn enough to help pay for homeschool extras and vacation. Whatever you do, make sure you do the research first and think it through.
I am sure you know that once you have kids, you really need to make sure you have both a will and life insurance because while we all hope nothing goes wrong, we want to protect our kids if it does. However, did you know that if you have a chronic illness, you should ask about chronic illness insurance. Even if you don’t have a chronic illness, you should keep this in mind anyways. Chronic illness insurance is an add-on to your life insurance that pays you a benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying chronic illness. This past year, I had at least one doctor appointment most weeks. I had a lot of tests, two hospital visits, injection therapy, epidurals, speech therapy, and physical therapy. I also saw a chiropractor. Not all of this is always covered completely by insurance and can require co-pays. It adds up fast! Chronic Illness Insurance can help make sure that these expenses are not a burden on your finances. Having it can alleviate a lot of stress for you and your family.
I know this is only a short list of ways to help, but I don’t wish to overwhelm either. Do you have any tips to add? If so, please feel free to comment below!