Being chronically ill costs money. This cost comes in many forms; there are doctor co-pays and deductibles to meet, medications to purchase, the possibility of having to hire someone to help with yard work or basic household needs, the increased cost of your food bill if trying to improve quality of life through diet (fresh always costs more than processed) and a seemingly endless list of other expenses.
Then there is the statistic from a study put out by the University Of Maryland, that estimates between 30-40% of Fibromyalgia patients are forced to quit or change their jobs. This is one I know first hand. I was working full-time as a barista 9 years ago when my Fibromyalgia flares began to increase in frequency and duration. Thankfully, a few years later I was able to nanny at home for some very close friends of ours. I truly cannot imagine having to go ‘out there’ and work full-time with FMS, and all my heart goes out to those that do. However, with the job change came a hit to our personal finances.
I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that financial struggles put undo stress on our health, relationships, and mental well-being. Money issues are the number one stressors in a marriage, and we all know that when our martial relationship is off, everything down the line is affected.
With the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME along with a reduction in income, ‘D’ and I had to tighten our belts. There were three simple, but financially impacting ways we accomplished this:
3 Simple Steps That Instantly Saved Us Money
TRIM THE FAT ~ We looked over every outgoing expense with a fine tooth comb. Anything that was not a necessity and we could live without, got the chop. One of these major eliminations involved cutting the cable. In truth, this was far less painful than anticipated. Realizing we were only watching maybe 4 channels out of 250, and with the availability of cheaper options like Sling TV and Apple TV, it was a fairly easy sacrifice. Better than the $135 cable bill every month.
TREAT YOURSELVES ONCE A WEEK ~ Many lists like this will tell you to stop eating out altogether. Let’s face it, is that really going to happen? Instead ‘D’ and I have a tradition of ‘Friday night burgers & a movie’. We bring home What-A-Burger on Friday nights, and watch a ‘light’ movie together (meaning nothing emotionally heavy) like; Harry Potter, a cheesy/awesome John Carpenter film, or science fiction. Obviously you tailor this to your own tastes. I’m simply making the suggestion of finding a relatively inexpensive way for you and your family to treat yourselves once a week. It gives everyone something to look forward to, and takes the sting of ‘doing completely without’ away, which makes it more likely that you’ll stick to your budget throughout the week.
PURCHASE THE ‘ON SALE’ ITEM EVERYTIME ~ Never ever, ever pay full price for anything in your grocery cart!! Money saving has become an art form among consumers, and the retailers know it! Especially in the food industry. Everyone needs to eat in the free market, and therefore competition for your food dollars creates an atmosphere of SAVINGS! SAVINGS! SAVINGS! Some stores like Fry’s offer their less expensive store brand (the ‘Kroger’ label), then offers their DIRT CHEAP option (the ‘PSSST’ label with the little owl). You find these way below eye level in the store. Always look at the lower shelves while shopping. Expensive name brands are colorful and at eye level. So, bend down and take a gander at the lower shelf to find the white or simple color schemed product. Chances are it will be just as good, and cost one heck of a lot less.
If you subscribe to ‘A Life Well Red’ (if not, sign up in the pink box in the sidebar to the right, for a FREE DOWNLOAD and monthly newsletters with privileged content available only to my subscribers!) and receive my newsletters, I recently let you know of a new feature every Friday at ‘ALWR’.
I know in our house money is tight. I’m guessing a lot of you are experiencing the same thing with income staying the same or decreasing, and out-going increasing. So, I am endevoring to find and employ good money saving tips which I will share with you every Friday in a new feature called, ‘Frugal Spoonie Fridays’. Hopefully together we can improve the health of our budgets which may improve the health of our mental and physical well-being as well. I know it will mine!
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