Budgeting and Hysterectomy: How to Manage Financially When Preparing for Your Hysterectomy
There are a lot of concerns that go along with a hysterectomy, from the surgery itself to all the expenses involved. All the costs associated with it compounded by knowing you’ll be off work when they’ll be so many bills coming in may have left you feeling quite stressed.
Being proactive with your budget before your hysterectomy may make things a bit easier. The sooner you get started, the more progress you can make before going into surgery. Get your whole family involved. Make it a game to see how many changes you can make so your budget is a bit more comfortable during your recovery.
To help you get started, here are some tips from your HysterSisters.
Talk to your creditors.
Make a list of your bills, including loans and utilities. Then make some phone calls. It’s possible you can put some of your utilities on level pay so that you pay the same amount each month. That can make budgeting a bit easier. Your lenders may be able to make some arrangements for lowering your payment for a month a two or letting you move a payment to the end, depending on the types of loans. It might be time to look at refinancing.
Talk to your medical offices.
Depending on your income level, some medical facilities offer reduced fees, payment plans, financial plans, financial loans, and more. You’ll need to call each one separately to find out what they can offer. Be prepared to provide proof of income, monthly bills, current and expected medical bills related to your hysterectomy, and possibly your tax returns.
Review your budget.
Now may be the time to make some changes to your budget. Look for expenses you can cut, such as lawn service, pest control, cable, and extras on your cell phone. Cut back on eating out, going to the movies, and grabbing a cappuccino on the way to work each morning. Check with family, friends, and co-workers to see if anyone would be interested in car pooling, bartering babysitting, or spending a day making freezer meals in large quantities you can share and freeze.
Redo your grocery budget.
Your grocery budget may be one of the places where it may be the easiest to cut corners. Planning meals and doing some smart shopping can help you save a lot of money. Look for coupons, check ads from several grocery stores, consider buying in bulk, and check out warehouse stores. There are also a lot of meal planning guides online which can give you tips on saving money at the grocery store, meal planning, and cooking on a budget.
Investigate resources within your area.
Your city, community center, county offices, doctor’s office, etc. may have some information about assistance for those in need. Your hospital may also have a social worker who can help you explore avenues of assistance in your area for those with medical expenses and financial hardship.
Check with human resources.
Your company may have some benefits or options for helping employees who need extended time off after a surgery. It may be possible to pick up some extra hours or earn some extra time off prior to your surgery. It’s possible you qualify for short-term disability (STD) or state disability. You may also be able to use some accrued vacation or sick time, allowing you to draw a paycheck during recovery. Your company may also allow you to borrow against future time off or allow other employees to donate some time off to you. Check with Human Resources about options offered by your company.
Spend some time googling.
There are a number of websites dedicated to frugality and budgeting. Read through some of them so you can learn how other families are cutting corners and making their dollars stretch. You can also use the web to compare prices, search local ads, find the best bargains, and do some meal planning. You’ll have lots of time on your hands during recovery, so you can continue searching the web then when you’re bored and need something to do.
Get creative with budgeting. Make it a game to see how cheaply you can live. Plan game nights instead of going to the movies. See what type of free activities are available through your community. You might find a list at your community center, library, or church. Have a yard sale to clean out your extras and make a little cash. You can also check your basement and attic to see if there are forgotten treasures you can sell. Try cooking with a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker so you can use less expensive ingredients and cut cooking costs.
Ask for help.
If things are really tight, ask for help. Family, friends, your church, doctor, hospital social worker, and others may know of some local resources which could be of help during your time of need. There may be assistance programs for which you qualify, a food pantry, or a financial planner who can offer assistance. You might be surprised at your options, so start asking around. These days, you can also use social media, GoFundMe, and similar platforms to reach out for assistance in times of need — it just depends on how comfortable you are sharing your circumstances with the public. When using a public platform, it’s also important to be careful about how much personal information you share online.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Budgeting and Hysterectomy: How to Manage Financially When Preparing for Your Hysterectomy