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, taken 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 black out, child birth is an 8) for months in 2015 and again in 2017. Multiple operations and other issues requiring 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. My favourites and best paid are Octopus Group, Swagbucks and Prize Rebel. 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). And you can still make a few thousand a year.

Cash Back

Not technically earning but since we are 2 months from Christmas, if you sign up to Cash Rewards, Shopback and Honey you can get cashback on your Christmas shopping. It might not seem like heaps but every bit counts!

Plus Honey scans for discounts. Find out more about cash back sites here.

Remote Work

If you are up to it, there is plenty of remote work. Some ideas including 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

If you have your ID you can sign up for bank accounts and secure some bonuses. One is 86400 which gives you $20 when you sign up with the code S7VL6WF and use the debit card 5 times.

I joined Up Bank almost a year ago and they offer $5 when you join plus another $5 when you use the debit card 5 times.

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.

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 cash back 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.

Also, you might want to try meal deliveries but with a discount. I used HelloFresh every week and you can get $50 off here. Dinnerly has $20 off each of your first 3 boxes (so save $60), Marley Spoon has $35 off and EveryPlate has 40% off your first box. This can help you meal plan without having to and eat fresh if you still want to cook without going to the store.

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.

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.

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