Blindsided by Unexpected Medical Bills: Coping with a Sick Child

When a child becomes sick, the effect on the whole family can be severe. Not only is there the worry about your child’s health, but financial issues also become a problem.

Unexpected medical bills can be difficult to pay. The parents may not be able to work as much because of the time constraints put on them caring for their child. Finances can really start to suffer.

If you are in this situation, here are some tips to help you keep things under control.

Create a New Budget

The first thing you should do is tear up your old household budget and create a new one.

Your new budget should incorporate the amount of money that you expect to be paying on health care costs and related costs that you did not have to pay before. These might be considerable costs to factor into your budget.

Once you have created a new budget with all of your new expenses, you will have a much better idea of what you will be spending over the coming months. You can also prioritize your expenses into essential and non-essential items.

Find New Ways to Save

Once you’ve got your new budget and you have listed the non-essential items, you can start looking for new ways to save. If the total amount comes to more than you are earning each month, you will have to cut down somewhere.

Look for items like newspaper subscriptions, meals out, the coffee you buy each morning, extra cable channels, and anything else that does not fit into the category of absolutely necessary.

Also look at ways to save on the necessary expenses like your electricity bill and your cell phone. Head to a comparison site and find out if you could be paying less, then switch suppliers or plans to make extra savings without feeling the pinch so much.

Get Help from Family and Friends

When someone is not well in the family, this is the time when you want to be looking for help from wherever you can find it.

This could include financial help, but it might also include help in the way of childcare, doing some shopping, driving you to the hospital, and just helping out around the house.

If you have family or friends nearby who might be able to help out, there is no harm in asking them. You may find that they want to do what they can to help you during difficult times, so accept help where you can get it.

Use Loans Carefully

There may be moments when you face an unexpected expense that you cannot afford but that really is essential. For example, if your car needs fixing so you can take your child to their medical appointments, this is one situation where you may want to take out a loan.

If you decide to get a loan today, just make sure that you plan it very carefully and ensure you can pay it back on time. Loans can help you to get through a particularly difficult moment, but never borrow money that you cannot afford to pay back.

Find Flexible Work

One of the biggest pressures on your finances may come if one of you is unable to continue working because you have to look after your child more. If this is the case and you have to quit your job, you might want to look into flexible work opportunities instead.

There are many opportunities these days for carrying out freelance work from home. Think about any skills that you have, or learn some new skills, and you might be able to earn money while working from home so that you can combine work with childcare.

Get Control Over Long-standing Debts

If you have long standing debts that are accumulating, it can be hard work to remember to pay them all, and the payments can all add up to become unmanageable.

If you are in this situation, consider getting some help to manage your debts. You may be able to consolidate them into one less expensive monthly payment, which can give you a bit of relief in difficult times.

Look After Your Finances During Difficult Times

It can be a big struggle to take care of your finances when your child is ill. If your child has a long-term illness, you may have to completely change the way you deal with your finances to ensure that you do not get into financial difficulties on top of everything else.

Take a close look at these ideas and see if you can use any of them in your situation. Hopefully, they can help you to get control over your finances so that you do not suffer the negative consequences of spending more than you are earning.

Danielle Hunter is a Mom getting her words out into the world to help others who are going through the things that she has already been through, and mostly survived! Read her insightful articles around the web.

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