Wednesday Wisdom – Spending Money

Money is a difficult subject for just about everyone. Talking about “financial success” and spending or even just having money, however, can be a topic that brings absolute panic to someone with chronic illness – it certainly does for me. Aside from chronic illness itself – that is, thinking about how I feel in the “now” and how my health MIGHT be in the future (I know, I know, I “shouldn’t” be thinking of that … but it is one of those thoughts that creeps in every time I am feeling especially poorly) – money is the “subject” my mind tends to dwell on the most. For those of you out there who were hit by severe chronic disease / illness in your 20s (or perhaps a little younger), you know how far-reaching the implications of money can be – how it touches on everything from the education you might not have been able to finish to your future health insurance … and how you will manage to stay alive AND keep a roof over your head if you don’t get “better” like … NOW. “Money” is a topic that starts to disseminate into every crevice of your life when you bring it up to someone who CANNOT work because of chronic illness / disability. I have said it here before and I will say it again – OUR DISABILITY SYSTEM IS IN BAD SHAPE AND THOSE WHO BENEFIT THE MOST FROM IT ARE NOT EVEN DISABLED. IT IS A SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN BROKEN FOR A LONG TIME AND DESPERATELY NEEDS REFORM. AND YES, I’M TALKING / SCREAMING TO / AT YOU AGAIN, LADY GAGA! Most of that is due to the financial “constraints” being disabled / chronically ill to the level of disability place on those in that position. I am sure I will talk about this even more in-depth very soon. For now, I just want to say that MANY of those of us who are chronically ill and/or (^/v) disabled are just scraping by, if we can even say that. I am really very fortunate right now, but things could change very drastically for me very soon. I have the following advice for all of us who face financial difficulties because of our physical inability to “work” (at least in the “now” – I try not to say “I CANNOT WORK!” because there is an implication of “never” that is the absolute antithesis of what I mean – I would give up just about anything TO BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND TO BE ABLE TO WORK AND TO HUSTLE WORKING IF NEED BE!) –

DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT “PAY YOU BACK.”

This goes for food. DO NOT BUY FOOD THAT IS NOT NOURISHING YOUR BODY – save money and skip everything that is not helping you to achieve a healthier you. This goes for “toiletries” like shampoo and conditioner and soap and lotion, &c. – use products that HELP YOU. For instance, I have a scrub brush as well as a loofah on sticks so I can scrub my back and lower legs without chancing further compression fractures in my spine. I use shampoo that helps my hair grow back in and conditioner that MAKES ME FEEL GOOD (by this, I mean I use Overtone because having colored hair is fun and it is something that makes me smile; I consider that a “worthwhile” investment); I buy soap that has antimicrobial qualities (right now I am using a Neem and Tea Tree Oil Soap from a local soap maker) because I am prone not only to folliculitis from the Behcet’s but to cellulitis (and I have to put at least 5 needles through my skin every week). This goes for clothing and bags and basically anything else you can think of. I am not saying you cannot splurge – as I mentioned above, the color conditioner is a fun way for me to feel slightly more like “myself” – but DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO SPLURGE IN EVERY “CATEGORY!” The idea behind using this “technique” when buying items for yourself is to SAVE money by only buying what ultimately BENEFITS YOU. There are so many people who claim that “fast food is cheaper!” but I have done the maths and I can honestly say that it is MUCH cheaper to buy bulk veggies and other healthy foods and eat those regularly than it is to “eat out” for even one meal every day. Find what makes you FEEL GOOD both physically and mentally and STICK TO THOSE ITEMS.

I have much more to discuss regarding finances / money and having chronic illness / disability. I will be sure to post more about this subject because it is something with which we struggle – and that struggle in and of itself is something that bothers me greatly. I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world and REMEMBER, PLEASE – my heart is ALWAYS with YOU….

❤ Always, Beth

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