A hand balancing dollars into a pyramid shape like a house of cards

How Life With Endometriosis Made Me Thrifty

Right now, money is a constant worry on my mind. It's no secret to anyone living with endometriosis that this disease sabotages career paths, severely limiting a person’s income. While menstrual leave may be starting to become a reality, endometriosis patients still struggle with life-disrupting symptoms and comorbidities that make going to a regular 9-to-5 job a challenge.

The lack of awareness around this disease means that most employers are not receptive to our needs. Even with the increase of remote work, the professional landscape closes its doors on us more often than not.

Resilient and mastering budgeting

I’m a self-employed copywriter who works from home, which allows me to earn money even when I am in severe pain. While my income is currently quite low, with the help of some spreadsheets and some mindful budgeting, I am able to stretch out my earnings and cover my bills without putting myself into further debt.

In fact, my chronic illness has made me incredibly thrifty.

Any food expenses are carefully managed

I limit any food delivery orders to when a flare-up renders me unable to move. The rest of the time, I try to plan my meals and cook bigger portions that can be reheated later. I recently purchased a cheap air-fryer that has become incredibly handy when I don't have the energy to cook. It also barely uses any electricity, helping me keep my bills low.

Sadly, an anti-inflammatory, "endofriendly" diet does not come cheap. Setting a budget aside for this sort of shopping stops me from overspending.

As soon as I get paid, a limited amount of cash is transferred to that card. The money in my main account covers my rent and bills, and if there is anything left at the end of the month, no matter how small, it goes into my savings account.

I focus on what I need, not what I want

I am a culture fiend. Ideally, I’d have subscriptions to every music, film, and audiobook streaming service. But right now, I can’t afford any.

However, having several email accounts and bank cards means that occasionally, I will get a free trial. I also regularly join streaming services to catch up with the latest season of a beloved show. Once I am done watching, I hit unsubscribe without a second thought.

Life may be tough, but this feeling is only temporary

While I am earning so little that I can’t afford a day off, focusing on the positives helps. I live in a cute one-bedroom flat, an amazing upgrade from where I was before. In my humble kitchen, I have created a barista corner with nice tea and comforting hot drinks.

These small, inexpensive joys help when I worry about paying my taxes. I use a cheap mindfulness app to stay grounded when my stress spirals out of control.

Right now, I am looking at what help is available from any government body. Many of us go through life unaware of any schemes and useful grants that could make our life easier, and I've decided it's time I explore those options in-depth.

Tweaking my lifestyle towards thriftiness somehow helps me recover a sense of control. I may have money worries in my mind and disruptive symptoms plaguing my body, but these struggles won't last forever.

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