There are all kinds of things that can negatively affect your financial life, ranging from being made redundant unexpectedly, to have your car break down when you least expect it, to something more global in scale, like a recession or financial collapse.
Unfortunately, though, some of the major causes of financial hardship are health-related concerns such as injury and unexpected illness.
Not only do these situations have the power to have a terrible effect on your finances in the short term, through sky-high medical bills, but they also threaten your financial future, but keeping you out of work, or reducing your effectiveness on the job.
Here are a few ways to prevent and offset the potential financial chaos associated with these health upsets.
#1 Hire a good attorney on a no-win, no-fee basis
If you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you will generally be able to find attorneys who will defend you in court on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning that you only pay fees to the attorney if you win a settlement.
Stewart Gus is a New Orleans personal injury lawyer who advertises that his clients will only pay if he wins their case, for example.
It’s worth doing your homework and identifying just how much you would owe your attorneys if you did win your case, but if all goes well, you might be able to offset the costs of the injury by means of what you’ve been able to claim back from the guilty party.
#2 Always set aside some of your income for unforeseen expenses
This is a brilliant budgeting tip in general, but it certainly comes into its own in the case of personal injury or health episodes, which may often be accompanied by a hefty price tag, and which all too often strike out of the blue.
By creating a category in your budget for “unforeseen expenses”, you are able to cushion yourself against future mishaps of various kinds, rather than being in the incredibly stressful situation of having to deal with an injury, while having no money set aside.
Budgeting in this way can also help to cushion the blow of other unwelcome surprises in life, such as your car breaking down unexpectedly, or losing your job apparently out of the blue.
#3 Emphasize sleep and health in your life for overall risk reduction
Neuroscientist and sleep researcher, Matthew Walker, has argued convincingly in his book Why We Sleep that a lack of sufficient sleep among the majority of people, in general, might be one of the greatest mass health crises of all time.
For one thing, a lack of sleep makes you far more accident prone. Your coordination drops, your attention drops, and your problem-solving abilities fall apart, even after a moderate degree of sleep deprivation.
And, of course, if you happen to be driving and drift off for a 1-2 second micro-sleep — something that’s far more common than you may expect — your likelihood of being involved in a fatal accident rises dramatically.
Likewise, poor diet and a sedentary life significantly boost your risk of heart and cardiovascular problems, among other things.
The bottom line is that by emphasizing your sleep and health in general, you can significantly reduce your risk of a costly health-related episode or accident.