This week, peek in as I answer a Reader’s Question.  Interested in having me answer yours? Post it in the comments section.

frustrated-earner“What advice can you give someone that wants to work but can’t for health issues. We are unable to make ends meet and save money because one income is not enough to pay rent, bills, groceries and other things – HELP”  From A Frustrated Earner

Dear Frustrated Earner –

Thanks for the great question.  Yours is a challenging situation.  When health issues stand in the way of a regular income, it can be very frustrating. I will answer for you, and for other readers in a similar situation.

You likely don’t have access to disability insurance through a previous employer or you would be using it, but for others who are working and facing health issues and this may be an option. Check with the Human Resources Department of your company if you cannot continue to work for health reasons.  If you have a permanent disability leaving you unable to work, there may be assistance available to you through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefit.

Get Creative about Earning an Income

Although you may be unable to earn a traditional income because you can’t do a full day of work, or you have physical limitations, you may still be able to do some work that can bring in income.  Get creative.  Allow yourself to be really open about what you can do. Perhaps think back to what people did many years ago to bring in money. You could bring in washing, ironing or mending.  Consider teaching piano or singing lessons. Offer child care services, particularly for older children. You could write letters, repair household items or rent a room in your home.  Consider what talents and interests you have and what you can handle.  There are likely many things you can do to bring in some money to help your household.

Get Creative about Spending Your Income

Now that you have a bit more money coming in, get really creative about how you spend your money. There are many things you can do that reduce costs without dramatically reducing your lifestyle. Get creative here. Food is a big expenses in our lives.  Buying whole food and preparing it yourself is much less expensive and much better for you. There is little or no tax on whole food and items like dry beans and rice are incredibly inexpensive and make for a full protein.  Consider services you pay for and where you can reduce costs, trade or skip altogether.  Switch off babysitting with another family.  Pay the neighbour’s kid to shovel the driveway instead of the snowplow service. Exchange your $75/mth cable TV for$8/mth Netflix.  Borrow books from the library and host a potluck instead of going out. Quit smoking.

Live in Gratitude

Even when things are tough, there are always things to be grateful for.  Spend time every day focusing on the things you have in your life. Not just the stuff, but the health you do have, your family, friends, opportunities, experiences and intelligence.

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to
accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”
~ G. K. Chesterton

Making ends meet always comes down to matching the money going out to the money coming in.  If there is more outflow than inflow, you have two options.  Make more or spend less.  Most people will do both. Be open, resourceful and creative.

Thanks for the question, Frustrated Earner.  Readers – what other ideas do you have?  Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Want to use this article in your ezine or web site? You can, as long as you include this complete citation with it.

Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money.  Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals.  They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money. Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money.

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