So here’s my problem. I have enough money to manage at the moment, but my income is going to be cut over the next four years. And the cuts start in a month when my Carer’s Allowance disappears. That’s $124.70 each fortnight, gone. $3242.20 per year. And $270 a month, which I now have to find.
Ouch. The government seems to think that either my son no longer has his disability because he is now 16 years old, or that I no longer need to provide care for him. Neither one makes any sense, but rules are rules, and there’s no fighting it. The money will disappear in a month.
Since my original goal was to replace $1000 of income, I’m now realistically looking at replacing $1270 per month. But $1000 per month is a nice round number, so I’ll keep my goal there. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Making $1000 per month?
Not when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, can’t work a normal job and you don’t happen to have a trust fund or very rich, very old, seriously ill Great Aunt.
So back to the point. I need to find a way to replace the income that I’ll be losing. And I need to do it relatively quickly. Four years sounds like a long time, but it certainly is not in financial terms.
There are two obvious ways to increase your cash flow:
- Increase income and
- Decrease expenses.
To increase income I’ll be looking at creating freelance design income, an Etsy store and writing. I’ll then take that income and invest in the share market for dividends to create a passive income for the future.
To decrease expenses, I’m going to downsize my house. I’ll make some improvements to my current house to achieve the best sale price possible, and hopefully have a nest egg to invest for dividends. I’ll also look at my household expenses, bills, entertainment, food etc. and see where I can cut expenses there.
That’s the plan, and I’m going to start by looking at my expenses. Step one is to figure out where my money is going, what I am spending it on. That should be enlightening. I suspect my teenage daughter’s love of makeup and Anime is going to play a considerable part. Oh and those pesky medical bills…doctors, scans, medications. Those add up real fast.
I used to watch every cent closely, but another thing that happens when you are chronically ill is that you suffer brain fog. You’re not as sharp as you once were and you’re always tired. So a few things slip by the wayside, like checking bank statements and credit card statements and keeping a razor sharp eye on expenses. And sometimes you just have to throw $30 at your teenager, because they deserve to go out and have some fun, see a movie, be with their friends. Because they miss out on a lot because you’re ill.
Not having a lot of energy and being in constant pain also means I have been spending money on conveniences as well. I need to re-evaluate those and see if they are really necessary.
But first it’s time to take stock and figure out exactly what I’m spending my money on.