How to Protect Your Finances Against Ill-health

protecting your finances against ill-healthAre you self-employed? Is there only you working in your business? I am both of the above and I would like to share my story with you. It is something that recently happened to me….

A Little Bit About Me

Firstly, I will give you a bit of background about myself. I am self-employed with two businesses, one as a life coach and the other helping others to save or make money.

My hobbies include going to the gym, walking, cycling and reading personal development books. I have always tried to look after myself with a healthy diet.

I live on my own with family living close by. I am very independent and like to do things myself, so I pride myself on keeping my house and garden tidy and maintained.

I also care for my Dad who lives a few miles away on the other side of town. I have a busy lifestyle and I like to live life to the full.

Then The Worst Actually Happened….

At the end of May this year the worst thing that could ever happen to a self-employed person, happened to me.

I was getting ready to meet a coaching client, it was to be our first session together, when I pulled my back.  I had hurt my back before, so I thought this was just like the other times. I experienced excruciating pain, was having trouble walking and could not bend down.

At first, I thought it would take a few hours to get better and I would be able to make my appointment. Unfortunately, this was not the case as the pain got worse and spread to my leg.  I had to cancel my appointment.

The pain in my leg turned out to be nerve pain. I lost the feeling in my foot, couldn’t bend my toes. It was quite scary. I seemed to have missed most of June, as I had to take so many painkillers. I wasn’t sleeping well at night so I spent all my days sleeping.

It has been ten weeks now and I still cannot walk far and have difficulty driving long distances.  I am still in pain and limited to what I can do. I can’t enjoy some of the hobbies I had. Every day things get easier, so I know I am gradually getting better.

However, I know it could be a while before I will have made a full recovery. The one thing I do have is the determination to get better and I am still working, even if it isn’t to full capacity.

The Consequences…

Luckily for me, the coaching client was very understanding as she had also suffered previously with a back problem.

As you know, being self-employed, you are dependent on being able to fulfil the requirements of your clients or customers to earn your bread and butter.

So even if you are only ill for one day it is still a problem, as you have to let your customers down. However, you can rearrange for another date.

But what if you were ill for a long period of time and couldn’t work in your business? What would happen to your clients/customers?

What You Need to Have in Place

All self-employed people should have a plan for if or when the worst happens. You never know what life has in store for you.

Don’t wait until it happens to you. Think about it now so you know exactly what you can do if it does happen. You know what they say: fail to plan, plan to fail.

Protecting Your Finances Against Sickness

What are your options?

  1. Take out an insurance policy which will provide you with sickness cover. Unfortunately, I only took out critical illness and not sickness. So, look at a broader policy for all eventualities.
  1. Look at private health care cover so you can get treatment quickly and be able to see specialists as soon as possible, to help you get on the path to recovery faster.  I am still waiting for a physiotherapist, but was able to pay for a chiropractor.
  1. Develop relationships with other self-employed people in the same line of business as you. At least they could fulfil work on your behalf and your customers will be happy that they are not having to wait for you to recover.
  1. Make sure your family are aware of your plan so they can help you put everything into action. When I was in employment I always used to say that if a member of staff got run over by a bus, could someone else pick up their workload? It is the same for self-employed people – who can catch you when you fall?
  1. Think of ways you could earn a residual income that would come in even if you weren’t working. I was lucky as I did have a residual income.
  1. Make sure you have sufficient savings or an emergency fund stored away. This will give you time to recover properly. Worrying about money will definitely not aid your recovery.

I hope this post has given you something to think about and I wish you all good health.

Over to You

Are you self-employed and have not been able to work because of illness? Share your tips with us here, we’d love to hear from you!

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