Finance and Budgeting Tips for Couples Dealing with Endometriosis
Endometriosis can make having a career or even working regularly a challenge, which can really cripple your finances. Jessica and Chris have experienced this and share some of the tips and advice they've come up with while learning to deal with endometriosis, finances, and working as a couple.
What is your approach to managing your budgets and the ways in which they can be affected by endo?
From Jessica: Despite the challenges endometriosis poses, I’m very good with my money these days. I’ve been educating myself over the past few years. I’ve worked on my limiting beliefs (though they still crop up regularly), I’ve read books, I’ve started investing, and I’ve been working with a finance coach to get everything in order.
Giving all that, I now have a monthly budget for everything and I pretty much stick to it all the time. If I go over on say food shopping, I take that from my weekend budget. It’s flexible, but there are categories for everything and so instead of seeing a bunch of money and wondering how I’m going to spend it, I already know exactly where it’s going.
I’ve also started to prioritize saving - bills and saving come first, and then the rest comes later. I’m not saving as much as I want, but the fact that I’ve started is empowering and gives me hope for our future finances and where we could be and what we could do.
From Chris: I've learned loads from Jess with regards to managing my money and even though my income isn't strictly tied to her endometriosis, the budgeting system she uses has made my money go so much further than before. I am a bit more relaxed and flexible with my spending then she is, as my health allows me some flexibility, which works well as I can add a little bit more to our budgets when we wanna have some more fun!
What key tips can you share to others facing similar struggles?
From Jessica: YNAB - This is a money managing method that has changed my life. It’s based in US currency so I don’t actually use the app or software, but I do use the approach and I read the book and listen to the podcast. This approach alone sorted my finances and gave me back control. I’ve rarely felt out of control ever since and I’m no longer scared of looking at my bank account. In fact, I sort of love managing my money now!
I also suggest getting a bank that tells you your spending in real time and categorizes spending for you. I use STARLING and I love it. I actually use their "Goals" section to separate my money according to my different budgets and I then transfer that money into my current account as and when I need to use it.
If you’re self-employed, looking at some kind of insurance could be helpful too, so that if you are sick, you are covered financially. If you’re able to afford it, saving 3 months of your basic minimum outgoings also gives you an extra security blanket should you have to leave your job or something happens where you no longer have an income.
From Chris: It's important to have an emergency fund - a security blanket of money to use if your partner is suddenly unable to work or has to change job to something lower income of less hours. I make sure that there is always this fund in my account so that Jess can feel some security knowing that she is able to take time out of she needs it.
Also, whatever money managing technique you use, whether it's YNAB, a spreadsheet, a notebook, an app, etc., make sure you are consistent and stick with it. It can take a couple of months to see an impact when adopting a new technique, but soon enough you'll be surprised how far you can make your money go, and how much better it can serve you.
Weird Endo Symptom: Have you ever experienced what felt like a vibration in your pelvic region?