Let’s talk about money for a minute. There are many colloquialisms about money. Money makes the world go round. Money is the root of all evil. Money can’t buy happiness. Just to mention a few. One that you don’t hear, but maybe you should, is that it’s super expensive to be sick. I mean it. Living with arthritis requires a lot of money.
I sat down the other day and figured out exactly how much I’ve spent in the last year on being sick and the number astounded me. Healthcare costs can add up with a chronic disease. You have more doctors’ visits, which means more co-pays. Not to mention if you end up having to go to urgent care or the ER. And if that leads to hospital visits, you’re probably in for a hurting. But these are things that seem obvious. Let’s look at the less obvious: the medications, the supplements, the aids or extra equipment you need. Then if you need to eat a specific way, that can get expensive. All these expenses add up to BIG numbers. Scary numbers. And many of these are ongoing costs–not just one time fees!
So what do you do? There are only two things to do with money problems: spend less money or make more money. We’ll take a look at this in two ways. Starting with saving money.
Saving money when you have a chronic illness is not always easy. But it’s not always complicated. Here are some tips:
First – Coupons
Yes of course this seems so obvious. But I absolutely mean it. Coupons are awesome. And there are tons of ways to get coupons these days that are super easy. You can go old school and clip your coupons from the newspaper, but I personally have gone digital. There are many apps that help you with coupons. Target has an excellent one. I also like SnipSnap. This one helps you find coupons for all kinds of retailers, not just groceries or things like that. Additionally, if you have specific brand needs or preferences, signing up with that brands website often gets you special coupons just for them. I have sensitive skin (thank you psoriasis) so I use Aveeno skin products. They send me great coupons.
Second – Memberships
These can save you so much money! I don’t just mean to places like Costco or Sam’s Club (which can save you tons, but you generally need the room to buy in bulk). There are membership cards for grocery stores, retail chains, all kinds of places. They may be annoying at times, but they save you money and you normally get access to additional sales.
Third – Compare Prices
Doing your homework can make all the difference! Especially if it’s something that you regularly need (like a supplement you take every day), finding the cheapest price will save you so much money over time. Vitacost has great vitamins at good prices. I also actually get some of my supplements on Amazon. Do your homework for your prescription medication too. This is ESPECIALLY important if your insurance does not have good prescription coverage. GoodRx.com allows you to check the prices for your prescriptions at all your local pharmacies to see which has the best price. Larger club stores often allow non-members to use their prescription services as well. This can be such a huge saver!
Fourth – Buy Used
Now clearly I’m not talking about your medication here. But other things, like clothes, furniture, etc can be bought used. My personal favorite for clothes is Poshmark. They allow you to buy used clothes, shoes and accessories at great prices. Including some wonderful name brands. Craigslist is my favorite for furniture. I got the most comfortable lounge chair for $20!
There are also apps like Offer Up, or groups on Facebook for yard sales. You can sometimes find things like canes, walkers or wheelchairs on there too.
Fifth – Pharmaceutical Companies
This one probably isn’t thought of often. But there are many highly prescribed medications that don’t have a generic offered. I recently started using a biologic. I looked at the price on GoodRx and it was astronomical! Even with my insurance I was going to have to choose between medication and a place to live. Until my wonderful mother mentioned that the pharmaceutical company had an assistance program. This program is amazing. Thanks to their help I will pay next to nothing for this medication. These programs are wonderful and it’s easy to qualify.
I hope these help. Next time we’ll talk about making extra money.
*Editor’s note: CreakyJoints doesn’t endorse specific products, brands, or services. These are suggestions based on one of our blogger’s personal experiences. Always speak with your doctor/healthcare provider when shopping for supplements and/or other health related items. Please feel free to add your tips in the comment section.