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Preparing for an Illness: Coping Financially When you get Sick

16 August 2017 No Comment

If you have been diagnosed with a long term illness, you may be wondering how in the world you’ll be able to keep on paying your bills. A chronic illness can wreak havoc on your finances as well as your health. In the interest of making the most of a bad situation, we are pleased to present a few good ways to prioritize your debts and stay afloat even while battling a serious illness.

Build a budget you can live with

A weekly or monthly budget can help your money go a whole lot further. Once you have a budget in place, you will be able to better see where your cash is going. This all-important step is worthwhile for anyone, whether or not they have a chronic or life-threatening illness.

Begin by writing down all your income sources and add them all together. This amounts to your total income. Now, write down every penny you spend and what you spend it on. Subtract the total spent from the total earned, and you will arrive at a balance. If the balance number is less than zero, you’ve got to take a serious look at your income and spending, advises Macmillan Cancer Support. There may be ways to increase the amount of money you bring in, or you may be able to reduce frivolous expenses.

Pay down your credit cards and charge accounts as soon as you are able. Interest on credit cards can add up to a significant amount of money that could be better spent on living well and supporting your family. If you find yourself with a bit too much month left, help from King of Kash can tide you over until your next paycheck.

Preserving your employment

Most employers let their workers and staff take a day or two off for a minor ailment such as the flu. But when a serious chronic illness is diagnosed, some employers may balk at giving extra days off. Fortunately, there are at least two US laws to protect workers diagnosed with major illnesses.

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to make feasible modifications for sick or disabled workers. In many instances, these modifications may include days off with pay. If your chronic illness meets the definition of a disability, your boss is required by law to adhere to this important law. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees up to 12 weeks off without pay per calendar year to attend to medical or family emergencies, explains the New York Times.

Stay strong as long as you can

Your physician may recommend certain exercises that you can do to preserve your muscles and strength. During a flare-up, you may need to avoid exercising altogether. Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

Strength training, range-of-motion exercises, and aerobic exercise can benefit persons living with a number of chronic health conditions. With stronger muscles and boosted endurance, people with diabetes, asthma, arthritis and other long-term conditions may improve their ability to perform daily activities.

Heart patients who do interval training on a regular basis may improve their overall cardiac health. Diabetics who exercise may lower their blood sugar levels while controlling weight and boosting energy levels. Low-impact exercises such as swimming and walking can improve muscle function and strengthen bad backs by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Asthmatics may opt for exercises that involve short bursts of activity such as baseball or tennis explains Mayo Clinic.

Putting your financial affairs in order

Nobody likes to think about the end of their life. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness that is likely to hasten your demise, now is the right time to put your financial affairs in order. Write your will to ensure your belongings go where you want them to once you’re gone. If the cost of a lawyer is too much right now, scout around to find legal aid services that can help you write a valid last will and testament for little or no charge. By writing a will now, you will spare your loved ones a lot of hassle in the future.

If you die before writing a will, the law will decide who inherits your estate. Without a proper will in place, your unmarried partner might not receive anything. Your house could go to someone you’d never want as a guest.

Nobody gets out of this world alive. No matter what your lifespan, make the most of it. Live positively, love without conditions, and best of luck with your health.

Danielle Price writes about personal finances and how she has raised 3 kids as a single Mom with health issues. Her articles appear on parenting sites as well as personal finance blogs.

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