While medical concerns are usually the first thing on someone’s mind when they’re diagnosed with cancer, another issue may quickly arise: finances. Just like with any major life disruption, it’s important to assess your entire financial picture, consider all of the factors that may impact your finances because of the diagnosis and come up with a detailed budget.
Creating your budget after cancer comes into your life can be a scary prospect, but it’s one that is necessary to stay financially healthy so you can instead focus on your physical health. Here are a few things to consider during your budget-planning process:
- Healthcare: This is often where the most expenses are incurred by cancer patients. Even with insurance, medical care can be extremely expensive. Contact your insurance company and try to get a handle on what the treatments, medications, and other care will cost, factoring in co-pays and other smaller expenses that can add up.
- Routine changes: Creating your budget after cancer should include forward-thinking about how your daily routine could change. For instance, patients may experience a job loss or cut hours because of treatment as well as added childcare costs.
- Travel: Patients often need transportation assistance to and from appointments and treatments, which can become costly. Look into transportation services, including those offered by your healthcare facility, to plan for expenses.
- Unnecessary spending: As you’re creating a budget, explore all of your current expenses to see where you can cut costs. Consider how much you spend on non-essential things, such as going out to dinner, seeing a movie, and clothes shopping. Look into your regular expenses like cable, car insurance, and groceries and make decisions about what is really needed.
- Unexpected medical expenses: Treatments and medications aren’t the only healthcare-related expenses. Wigs, bandages, and other medical items are often needed throughout the process to keep patients comfortable and confident. Consult your physicians to plan for all of the medical expenses that may come your way.
Creating your budget after a cancer diagnosis involves being proactive and practical. If you can strategize with these things in mind, your financial future is more secure.
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