Can You Really Afford to Get Sick? I Couldn’t.

I didn’t plan on getting diagnosed with cancer, or with any major illness. But I thought I was prepared, if I did. Since my husband an I are self employed, we had 3 months of savings set aside to cover our bills, along with disability insurance. Little did I know, that it was not nearly enough.

Once my treatment plan was made, I realized that my treatment would take a minimum of nine months to complete. That was six months longer than I was prepared for. During my treatment, my husbands’ business had to close as well. So, we lost his income too. And finally, after filing my claim, I learned that my disability insurance wouldn’t pay until I was out sick for ninety days and that the monthly payment only replaced 30% of my monthly income. Yikes! I needed to cut expenses right away!

Here are twenty things that can be done to save money right now.


  1. Stop shopping. You have enough clothes.
  2. If you must shop because large changes in weight or size due to treatment, use consignments shops or Goodwill.
  3. Stop eating out.
  4. Cook at home, and pack meals to take to work or school.
  5. Sell unused items in a garage sale, on EBay, or consign some gently used clothing.
  6. Cancel non-essential monthly memberships to gyms, magazines subscriptions, satellite radio, etc.
  7. Use coupons
  8. Buy non perishable items in bulk
  9. Review homeowners and car insurance policies and replace with cheaper policies.
  10. Return unworn clothing to the store for refund. If you have clothes in your closet with the tags still on them, depending on when they were purchased and what store they were purchased from, they may still be eligible for a full refund.
  11. Get rid of cable or downgrade to basic cable and/or consider lower cost options such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
  12. Look for less expensive childcare.
  13. Refinance some of your higher interest debt or transfer debt to a interest free or low interest  credit card.
  14. Consolidate student loans, or defer payments if eligible.
  15. Get rid of your house phone.
  16. Find a cheaper cell phone plan.
  17. Sell the extra car. If you have an extra vehicle that you rarely use, consider selling it. It will save on insurance and the extra money can be used to pay other bills.
  18. If you use a lawn service, pest, or cleaning service, consider stopping them and have your spouse, friends or family help out until your income recovers.
  19. If you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, this is a great time to cut back or better yet, quit. These are very expensive and life threatening habits.
  20. Reduce or eliminate your charitable giving, including church tithes, until your income recovers. God knows your situation.  He would rather you pay your mortgage, than to give the church your last dollar and end up homeless while getting cancer treatment.


I hope these ideas help you as much as they helped me. This is not a complete list so, if you have any additional suggestions, please share.

Beautifully Yours - Dr Tonya Cole



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