Financial Challenges For Couples Dealing With Endometriosis
Last updated: July 2019
Endometriosis can affect all aspects of life, including physical health, emotional health and wellbeing, relationships, and even financial security. Ultimately, endo can have significant impacts on household finances, as shared by Endometriosis.net advocates like Chris and Jessica. Jessica has endometriosis, and Chris is her partner.
To better understand an important but often ignored topic, we asked Jessica and Chris, "How do you think endometriosis has affected your finances as a couple?". Check-out what they had to say.
The price of endometriosis
"My ability to make money with endo has been very much tied up with my ability to climb the career ladder. I spent a lot of money on starting a business and then lost it all because I was too unwell to keep up with the business and had to leave. I then got a job in charity, and when I finally got a nice looking pay rise, I left again because I couldn’t deal with the emotional demands of the job when I was already feeling unwell. That meant I dropped 10k and I’ve never reached anywhere near that salary since. I’ve spent about 5 years doing a few different jobs and am now self-employed, and so am building my finances and my salary up again. I hope that by being my own boss I can work in a way that’s sustainable for me and I don’t have to leave a job (and the money that comes with it)."
"It definitely affects the stability of our finances. Both of us are self-employed so this comes with the territory, but there is the added worry of Jess being too sick to work, and not having the security of sick pay or paid holiday from an employer. For Jess, however, becoming self-employed has also been one of the most beneficial ways of managing her symptoms, so there are pros and cons.
The amount of money we take in as a couple is also less now, which means that it can be more difficult to be accepted to rental properties or applying for mortgages or finance options, or contracts that take joint household income in to consideration."
What have been the most difficult part?
"I mean, generally, just living off a small amount of money. It could be worse and we’re lucky in many ways. But we have to stretch our budget when it comes to social activities, food and things like monthly travel expenses. I’m proud of how far we can make our money go, but many people are shocked when they hear how much we give ourselves for ‘fun/social activities’ or food shopping, and it can be really hard sometimes!
On top of that, it’s meant that expensive things that have cropped up in the past have really crippled us financially. We had a year of baby showers and weddings and hen (bachelor/bachelorette) dos, and I literally had to get a credit card out to pay for it all; It put me into debt I would have otherwise never been in. That’s quite hard when you’re going without yourself to make things work financially, but social pressures leave you feeling like you can’t avoid paying for these things. I’m still paying off that credit card now!
I guess the biggest challenge is the way that a lack of finances can hinder your progress in life. We have some plans we’d like to do, and it’s literally the lack of money that’s holding us back."
"We've definitely handled the reduced amount of spending money well, and have picked up some valuable budgeting and finance skills along the way that will help us throughout our lives, but it's still difficult to always be restricted to how much we can eat out or go out in London or whatever it may be.
We've had to move further away from the city to save money and finding somewhere that we want to live with plenty around us to do, but also within our budget has been difficult, and has made progress slow with moving and exploring new areas."
Has endometriosis created financial challenges for you? Comment below, or click here to connect with others who understand.
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