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How to Manage Your Health and Wealth When You’re Sick

How to Manage Your Health and Wealth When You’re Sick

How can you be Frugal and Still Make Money on the Side When you are Sick?

This week, I was in hospital for some pregnancy issues, then my heart had problems.

Problems I’ve had for weeks but no one took me seriously until they saw it on the hospital bed.

Suddenly, they were quite concerned and I am having a plethora of test over the coming weeks since I am 7 months pregnant.

I had just started really trying to smash my debt, maximise side hustles and other income, take on new clients etc. So the timing is unfortunate as it changes all those plans.

However, I have had severe medical issues before. Paralysis with level 10 pain (pain so great you blackout, childbirth is an 8) for months in 2015 and again in 2017.

Multiple operations and other issues required me to slow down, step back and change direction.

Disclosure – this post may contain affiliate links.

How to Make Money on the Side When Sick

Depending on your illness, requirements for health etc you might not be able to make as much on the side as normal.

Or you might not be able to do some of the things you planned.

Also, you could be required to do nothing and simply rest.

What you do is up to you but be sure to follow medical advice and only do what you are capable of doing.

Be realistic

Before deciding what to do or committing to too much, be realistic about what you are capable of doing.

For me, it is fairly limited. If it can be done from bed or in small spurts requiring not much energy, I can do it. This means the flyers I was doing with my kids and similar can no longer be done.

Online Surveys

They get a bad rap but for most people, even if bedridden, you can do some surveys.

You can read a full review of the best online survey sites for Aussies to see which to use and which to avoid.

Online surveys also work well as they can be done any time from anywhere.

You don’t have the pressure of dealing with clients (compared to being a freelance writer or virtual assistant for example).

Cash Back

Not technically earning but since we are 2 months from Christmas if you sign up for cashback programs you can get cashback on your Christmas shopping. It might not seem like heaps but every bit counts!

CashRewards: By far my favourite as it usually has the highest cash back offer, the payments are processed easily and customer services has been good.

Simply join CashRewards for free, activate it when you see the cash back offer and get a bonus $20 cash back with your first purchase over $20.

Shopback: Works the same as CashRewards. You can only activate and use one so I compare to see which one is offering me a better deal. Join Shopback for free and get a bonus after your first purchase through them too.

Honey: Slightly different, Honey offers cash back but also scans for discounts and coupon codes. Join Honey for free here.

Swagbucks: Best known as an online survey site, they also have a cash back program with the cash being awarded in points you accrue and cash out. Join free here.

ReceiptJar: This is for after your purchase is final. Upload your receipt and get points. Once you reach 1,000 points you can get a gift card. Join free with the code KYLIT3QH2 and get a bonus 200 points when you upload your first receipt.

Remote Work

If you are up to it, there is plenty of remote work. Some ideas include how to become a freelance writer, how to be a virtual assistant or 19 ways I’ve made money from home and remotely.

Rent Stuff

Can you rent out your garage if you aren’t using it? I’ve done this in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne for around $50 per week. It required nothing from me after the initial set-up and was done through sites such as Spacer so payments were automated.

Bank Bonuses

A quick Google search will show you which banks are offering bonuses to sign up. I’m talking about bank accounts, not credit cards as applying for credit cards will impact your credit score.

Image of person in bed with covers over face. Text reads how to manage your health and wealth when sick.

How to be Frugal When Sick

Menu planning, cooking in bulk, shopping around etc are all easier when you have your health.

Firstly, check out this article about how to afford medical expenses when you are on a low income or Centrelink.

Go Easy On Yourself

You are sick which makes it much harder and some expenses go up.

For us, we are almost an hour from the hospital, so the back and forth has tripled our petrol bill.

On top of that, the cost of parking

Compare All Your Expenses

Every year I do a financial review where I compare all my expenses such as insurance, phone plans, electricity etc.

Read how I do my annual financial review and what you can do to save money.

How I reduced my expenses by $18,790 last year is also a good read.

I am currently with Red Energy for electricity. They offer a $25 bonus when you join too.

Sign up for Birthday and Other Freebies

There are so many out there but you need to be signed up at least a month before your birthday for most of them.

I’ve got a huge list of Aussie birthday freebies you can check out.

Also, another list of freebies, in general, can be found here.

Enter Competitions

You never know what you might win. I’ve entered quite a few lately and while I haven’t won much recently, previously I have won an Airfryer and friends have won cars, holidays etc.

Find the best Aussie comps and giveaways here.

Review VIP/Loyalty Programs

Check all the programs you are a member of and see what discounts, cash out or bonuses you have sitting there to use.

You might be surprised and have a few which can save you money right now. There is a list of VIP/loyalty programs here.

Get Those Discounts

I’ve already discussed cashback and reward programs. But there are more ways to get discounts and coupons in Australia.

Read this to find out how to get coupons and discounts then check out this to find out how to get a discount on everything.

Get your first box free with HelloFresh.

Get up to $180 off EveryPlate, split across your first 5 boxes with the code THRIFTYEPLATE. YouFoodz is more health-focused and offer up to $140 off with the code THRIFTY140.

Get up to $144 off Dinnerly (49% off your first order, then 30% off the next two.) Marley Spoon offers up to $190 off 4 orders! That’s 53% off your first order, and 20% off your next three.

Use The Time Wisely

If you are stuck in bed or sick, depending on what is wrong there might be ways you can use the time to grow in other ways.

For example, read books, listen to podcasts, connect with friends and family through email etc.

Books I Recommend

If you can’t do much, why not read or listen to books? I prefer to read actual books but when I can’t, the Kindle app is great plus if you search low to high in terms of pricing you can get heaps free. Other people prefer Audible.

Below are a selection of books on different topics which have been amazing for my life. I also have the 52 books I am reading in 2021 here.

Unleash Your Inner Money Babe – Kathrin Zenkina

A 21-day money challenge of sorts combining finance and the law of attraction. With daily tasks you can do anywhere, it’s eye-opening and every time I’ve done it I have made well over the initial $1,000 intended. Unleash Your Inner Money Babe is the perfect book to help you make some money when you can’t really do much.

Lucky Bitch – Denise Duffield-Thomas

I originally read Get Rich, Lucky Bitch but Lucky Bitch is even better. Denise is an Aussie entrepreneur, money coach and hugely successful. Her advice is genuine, real and easy to follow.

Not Just Lucky – Jamila Rizvi

This book made me realise how privileged I am as well as how much women face in general. It’s motivating and eye-opening. Women are incredible, don’t sell yourself short. Not Just Lucky is thick but worth the read.

The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

My daughters’ favourite book is The Last Lecture, which she has read a few times. Randy died of cancer a while back but he was asked to do a lecture for his university before he did. Including memories, life advice and more for everyone, it’s a moving and inspiring book.

You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay

Overcoming paralysis was only possible for me when I applied this book. For 7 months I was living with level 10 pain on and off, paralysis and my life was falling apart. When I finally read and applied You Can Heal Your Life, everything changed.

Traditional medicine had not helped and they had no answers. Within a week of this book, I was healed.

Unf*ck Yourself – Gary John Bishop

Read in a delightful Scottish accent, Unf*ck Yourself is a wake-up call to get more out of life. Easy steps you can take, real advice and a lot of expression in his voice, this is one of the few books I thoroughly enjoyed as an audiobook.

The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

Recommended to me back in 2015, I didn’t actually read it until 2017 but it was life-changing! I wish I had read it sooner. The Big Leap covers how we self-sabotage through negativity and how that can present in other ways e.g. illness. But there is so much more to it! Ignore the bad cover, it’s a great book.

Specific Health Matters

When you are sick, especially if it is a chronic illness or something you have for a while, it can be easy to neglect your overall health.

Here are a few tips to help.


Grabbing junk, ordering takeaway or eating empty calories is easily done when we are sick but it won’t help us get better.

Remember to focus on your nutrition and eating as healthily as you can while sick to help your body heal.

Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist/dietician for specifics based on your condition.

Throughout my life I have had some significant health issues and they often flared up during times of extreme stress and when I ate poorly.

I took time to research nutrition, experimented with my own body and discovered the foods that fuel me and I know the foods that drain me.

As such, when I get sick, I know which foods to eat based on their nutrients.

For example, chicken noodle soup when I have a cold, garlic and ginger in most foods, ginger and lemon tea regularly etc.

We also eat mainly vegetarian, a lot of fresh produce and fermented foods.

Eating this way, plus improving my mental health helped me overcome paralysis I had been told would be permanent.


Depending on your condition, there may be some simply exercises you can do such as walking, Tai Chi, yoga etc.

Always check with your health practitioner as you don’t want to make anything worse.

Where possible and approved by your doctor or specialist, keeping up some simple exercises can help with recovery and prevent other health issues.

Working with a physiotherapist, chiropractor, Bowen therapist and other specialists at different times for different health issues enabled me to do more than I could have if I tried to heal everything on my own.

Your doctor will be able to refer you to the right specialist based on your condition.

For example, when I injured my spine at 15, it was a combination of a physiotherapist and chiropractor working together that helped me and gave me specific things to do.


Stay connected to your community. You might not be able to get out and about as much as possible but staying connected and keeping your spirits up can help with getting better.

Having people visit where possible, doing video calls, messaging, connecting in any way you can helps.

If your condition allows for you to volunteer or continue with some of your usual hobbies and events, try to do what you can.

Obviously, if you are contagious, that is not an option and please don’t go out or spread it so look for alternatives to in-person connection.

Anything that isn’t contagious though, do what you can to stay connected to your community in-person as well as through phone, video etc.

Mental Health

Be sure to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.

Eating well, exercising and keeping connections are all important, therapy can help too.

Sometimes we need to talk things through with someone, reframe what is going on and see it from a different perspective or simply have support from a mental health professional.

It takes courage to get help for your mental health so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone.

You can also keep your mind focused with books and podcasts as, mentioned above, games designed for your brain, crossword puzzles etc.

Laying around doing nothing but watching shows will negatively impact your mental and physical health and make recovery harder.

Look at what you can do to keep your mental state healthy.

Dental Health

When managing health and wealth during illness, it’s crucial not to overlook dental health, particularly if your condition affects your oral well-being or your confidence in your smile.

Conditions such as chronic illnesses or even certain medications can impact your teeth, leading to discolouration or other dental issues.

When pregnant, the constant vomiting caused significant damage to my teeth requiring extensive work due to the acid ruining the enamel and I know many other women who had similar issues.

On top of that, it was a real blow to my confidence as I felt my teeth didn’t look as good.

Feeling that way meant I didn’t want to do some of the work I used to as I was conscious of my teeth, which means I lost some of my income.

This is where dental solutions like veneers can play a significant role.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth, improving their appearance.

For me, they are an investment in your health and self-esteem, which is especially important when dealing with sickness.

While managing health expenses during illness, it’s essential to consider the long-term benefits of such dental treatment.

Take It Easy

The most important thing you can do is focus on recovery.

While the above outlines things you can do and tips, it is extremely important you do whatever you need to for your health.

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

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Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help with meals, child care, housework etc.

The Thrifty Issue

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

So true! People generally want to help but they don't always know what to do.

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