Financial freedom is important for a number of reasons, but for family caregivers, it can be especially crucial. Financial freedom can provide peace of mind and security, both of which are essential for those who are caring for loved ones. It can also help caregivers maintain their independence and provide much-needed support. In short, financial freedom is an important tool for family caregivers – one that should not be overlooked.
What is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom is the ability to enjoy life without worrying about money. Ideally, it means not having any “bad debt”, generating passive income (you do not have to be present to make money) and generating this income via multiple streams (thus, if one stream is cut off, you do not have to worry). Financial freedom is important for family caregivers because:
- It allows us to focus on our loved ones instead of finances.
- It also has the potential to give us peace-of-mind, knowing that we are not sacrificing our own retirement or quality of life in order to care for someone else.
Financial freedom is a critical component of self-care for family caregivers.
Financial freedom can help you:
- to be free from debt,
- to be free to go on vacation,
- even save up enough money to retire early!
Financial freedom also means that you are able to provide for your family without having to worry about the cost of living, because your income is not limited by the amount of work you do or hours in a day. Financial freedom also means being able to spend more time with friends and family, since there’s no worry about having a second job or working overtime in order to make ends meet.
How to Achieve Financial Freedom
Your journey to financial freedom can be complicated by many factors, including but not limited to:
- lack of time,
- family dynamics,
- the need for caregiving services in-home or out-of-home, and
- medical expenses.
But there are ways family caregivers can achieve financial freedom without sacrificing quality of life, e.g., saving money, making wise financial decisions and generating additional income (preferably passive income).
How to Save Money
Here are some tips on how to save money as family caregiver:
1. Cut back on your spending. This may mean making some changes to your lifestyle, but it will be worth it in the end. Try to avoid buying unnecessary items and find ways to reduce your expenses. Start by tracking your money. You need to know where you actually are financially before you can start making any adjustments to your spending.
2. Create a budget and stick to it. This means knowing how much you can spend, how much you can afford to save, and how much money is left over. You should know how to manage your money once the bills are paid.
3. Talk with family about how they can help. Some families may be fortunate enough to have family that can help contribute financially towards expenses related to caregiving or your loved one’s care. Talk with your family about how they can help contribute to the costs of caregiving or how they can help you in other ways. Be specific on how they can help.
4. Look into programs that offer free or discounted products and services for family caregivers. There may be local programs available that offer free or discounted items and services for family caregivers. One example would be home delivered meals for family caregivers.
5. Find out how to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for your loved one. Ask if there is a generic drug available at an affordable cost. See if there are government programs that subsidize the cost of medication, e.g., in Jamaica the National Health Fund (NHF) issues a card, applicable to certain illnesses like asthma, that provides discounts on related medication.
Make Wise Financial Decisions
The first step in making wise financial decisions is to learn about money. Most of us were never taught about money/finances. It was probably when we got into debt or lost most of our savings trying to be a good caregiver, that we realized that we have no clue what we’re doing when it comes to our finances. So, there’s no need to feel ashamed that you were ignorant in this area of life. Just start learning and as you learn, make better life choices.
Another strategy you can employ is to ensure that you communicate with other family members concerning family finances. This helps to avoid conflicts about money, while learning valuable insights from family members who have more experience or knowledge when it comes to money management. You can also contact professionals for guidance, e.g., financial planners, but please make sure you meet several times before signing an agreement and always read the fine print.
Lastly, you can use a tool like Moneyspire to help you organize your finances. We all know that getting your finances in order can be a daunting task; but Moneyspire makes it easier than ever! This software has everything you need to manage and keep track of every aspect, from accounts to budgets. So, start managing your money today.
How to Generate Additional Income
It is not always possible for family caregivers to cut caregiving expenses or receive financial assistance. In these cases, family caregivers may need to explore alternative ways to generate income. Here are some tips:
1. Sell your stuff online or at a yard sale.
There are many websites available, like eBay, Etsy and Craigslist, where you can sell just about anything. So, search through your closets, garage, old boxes and see what you can get rid of while making some money. You can even ask other family members to allow you to go through their “junk” to search for stuff to sell to make some cash to help with caregiving costs.
2. Seek to bring home more money from your present job.
You can do seek out a promotion or you can work overtime hours.
3. Start a side hustle.
As caregivers, chances are you are strapped for time, therefore a part-time gig would be ideal for most of us. In an attempt to make money in the short term/immediately, you can:
- do freelance jobs like writing; you can join websites like Fiverr & select “Become a Seller”,
- sign up with a notable company to do deliveries after work or,
- be an Uber driver.
If you are thinking of something more long term, meaning it will take some time to build, but after a while it may generate enough income to replace your job, then you should consider:
- Blogging: Wealthy Affiliate is a good place to start – they teach you how to create your blog and make money online.
- Selling courses online with Udemy or Teachable.
N.B. These long-term options actually allow for passive income, unlike the other recommendations.
Whatever route you decide to take, remember that it is possible for you achieve financial freedom with proper planning and hard work! Financial freedom may seem like an impossible dream, but there are ways in which family caregivers can make more money while saving at the same time.
Financial Freedom and Family Caregivers
Financial freedom can provide peace of mind and security for family caregivers. Financial freedom also helps caregivers maintain their independence while providing much-needed assistance when needed most, so they don’t have to rely solely on other people or government resources that may be limited.
Financial freedom should not be overlooked by any family caregiver because the benefits that come from financial stability will allow you to better care for your loved one in ways that would otherwise be impossible without this kind of freedom. It takes time and hard work to develop passive income streams, thus the sooner you begin the better. Decide if financial freedom is the way you want to go and get started today!