One of the most valuable lessons I have learned this past week being sick is always be prepared. Easy enough said, but unfortunately I was not prepared to have been sick for the last 10 days.
There I was, working hard to get my 40 hours per week. I have been very diligent to keep up with my budget for the last 3 months. Suddenly, I was feeling run down. I tried not to let it bother me, shrugging it off as just a cold and to suffer through it. As much as I fought it, I eventually had to take some time off work and see a doctor.
This time, I was prepared. I had done some very important things to prepare myself for an emergency like this.
1. Paid time off. Most people have the advantage of accruing paid time off, or PTO. Luckily I had decided to start saving mine for when I close on my future home. So if you keep taking your PTO, remember to save at least three days worth of wages to be able to take off work. This allows you to take time to rest without worrying about lost wages.
2. Emergency Fund. Some people may not have the advantage of paid time off. This is where the emergency fund comes in handy. I have money built in to cover any expenses that I incur while being sick like doctor's appointments, prescriptions, and over the counter comforts. I used $50.00 for an urgent care visit and $30.00 for prescriptions. 80 bucks is almost a whole day's pay for me, so it was nice to have the money already saved.
3. Have an "I'm out of work sick and can't go to the store" stock. This is very important when you are already sick. Often times going to the store sick can be a major budget buster. I found myself stumbling around the food department for my essentials and basically wound up with a bunch of comfort foods. It is good to have the essentials stocked up for a time when you are sick. Here are some things I recommend -- chicken soup, crackers, ginger ale, water, gatorade assortment, box tissue, fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and decongestant.
As always, being prepared is the best way to prevent budget havoc. If you fail to prepare for the eventual sickness and time off work, you may end up with a bag of Twizzlers to eat for dinner instead of soup (like me on Friday night). So save yourself some stress and be prepared better than I was.
Source: EzineArticles© 2012 Leah M. Murphy
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