Have 1-2 cards in your own name with zero balances that you can use as security when renting a car or getting a hotel room, but don’t use them to pay with! You are just showing vendors that you are good for it, that they can trust you.
If you must use a card, pay off the entire balance at the end of the month, ideally before any interest has been applied, but definitely as invoiced.
If you must carry a balance on the card, strive to pay it down quickly. And keep your eyes out for transfer offers that make sense for you.
- If you owe multiple loans and/or credit cards, note the interest rates of each and pay as much over the minimum payment as you can on the highest. Also I think you should never pay just the minimum on anything you owe. (And make sure there is no prepayment penalty that a lender wants to charge you for paying off the loan early. Hello? It’s your money! Not sure when that idea started, but it is definitely not consumer-friendly!)
Did Albert Einstein declare compound interest to be ‘the most powerful force in the universe’? The website snopes.com which tries to verify urban legends rules it “dubious”. Nevertheless, I geek out a little on the idea.
- Motley Fool | website
- Tips for People with MS and Their Partners Planning for the Future | NMSS
Since your earning power is widely regarded as your greatest resource, for those of us with MS it is even more critical to make financial plans as soon as possible,
I’ve always seen making a budget as “more of a guideline”.
- Start by listing all items you can think of that you pay for every month in column A. Brainstorm monthly, semi-monthly, and annual dues as well. Don’t spend a lot of time on this at this time.
- When you are finished, you may want to move items around in the list to place like items with like items, then skip to column E, title it ‘Net Amount’. and then go down the list and write the approximate payments you make per increment. In this example life insurance is $41.28 per quarter, water is $60 every two months. If you know the actual payment, put that in but it’s nothing to interrupt yourself to correct at this point.
- Go back and title column B ‘Frequency’, write the frequency of payment. (In the above examples, I’d say Quarterly and Bimonthly, but you might find that confusing because bimonthly means both twice per month and every other month. As you can see, I listed both in separate columns. I told you, ‘control freak’!) So let’s stick with digits so we can use that in our equations: how many times a year you are required to pay. In the above, 4 and 6, and if you want, add another column after that but before the Net Amount for the multiplication sign, and after for the divided by 12 instruction*
- Then title the next column ‘Net Monthly’, you will write a calculation multiplying the net amount by frequency and dividing into twelve to get a monthly amount. For water, it looks like this =C18*E18/12, where c18 is 6 (times a year) and e18 is 60 (the amount due each time I pay) divided by 12 (months).
- For the last column, ‘Net Annually’ I use =G18*12, which is the amount I just calculated multiplied (again) by 12 for the year.
*These notations are just for show. In Excel, which is spreadsheet software, you will need to preface actual commands with the equal sign. But if you want to show an actual equal sign you will need to enclose it in quotation marks like this: =”=”
You can see the actual formulas by pressing CTRL + ` (grave accent–on my keyboard it is to the left of the “1”). Hit it again to return to the standard view.
What it looks like
Showing the Formulas
The average MSer should strive to have multiple income streams, or at least more than one.
- 50+ Ways To Make Money Fast By Side Hustling
- 6 Ways I Bring in $3,500 Of Extra Income Per Month As A Stay At Home Mom (With 6 Kids)
- I have 15 streams of income, and here's why you should, too
- Search internet for "side hustle" or "content stream"
In times of panic, I take a few deep breaths then try to calmly assess my current situation–my shelter, food & money–to realize that right here, right now, right at this exact moment, I’m okay.
- Forge a relationship with a doctor. Find a neurologist, ideally an MS specialist, but more importantly someone you can work with over time, someone who listens to you, someone you can reach when you have a question. This may be the doctor who diagnosed you, but maybe not. Remember that no one cares as much about you than you do. Make sure you are working with someone who honors that.
Consider that you are now creating your own healthcare ”team”: general practitioner, neurologist, physical therapist, ophthalmologist, psychologist, naturopath, dentist, gynecologist, etc. Maybe print out a DATED list of all members on your “team” and give it to each one to be kept in your file, along with a list of all medications, even vitamins and supplements, that you are currently taking. Keep regular appointments with each and give them updated lists at every visit.
- Start prescriptions ASAP. Get on medication as soon as possible. As drastic as it might seem in the beginning, when your first symptom may have already gone away, most of the time M.S. continues to do damage behind the scenes. And when you do begin to show symptoms, it may be to late to reverse any damage. At this time there is no known way to do that.
- Do something from your bucket list. Do something you’ve been wanting to do, however small, right now, today. For example, I’d wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle for years before I got diagnosed, so I used it as an excuse to start, enrolled in a motorcycle safety course, then bought a used bike, got licensed for it, commuted on it for a number of years, and finally quit to do something else on my list. I could never ride now, so I’m glad I did it when I was still able to. Consider starting your own “bucket list”, things you’d like to have experienced or done before you can no longer do them, or before you die, i.e.”kick the bucket”.
- Introduce yourself at a support group. Contact a local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to find one. Take advantage of their free resources while you are there. Also check into other related groups (see list below). In the beginning of this journey, you may find a support group but think you have nothing to offer and besides, everyone there seems so much worse off then you and who wants to be reminded of how bad things could get? But resist that thought.
Whether you go regularly or just whenever, consider this part of building your team. It is always helpful to know others on this path, and while your acquaintances may start to refer to you others in their lives who have just been diagnosed or touched in some other way by this disease, do not allow this to be your only contact with other MSers; going to a support group is a sure-fire way to be around groups of others who know what it is like to be living with this.
- Examine your spirituality. Decide what you do or do not believe. Enough said.
- MSAA MS Association of America, a U.S. nonprofit organization founded in 1970.
- NMSS National MS Society, a U.S. nonprofit founded in 1946.
- NARCOMS North American Research Committee on MS, global registry for MS research, established in 1993.
- PatientsLikeMe.com A health information sharing website for patients, launched in 2011
- MSFriends NMSS program for peer-to-peer phone support
$50,000 is a lot of money to us; for big corporations, it’s only a drop or less.
I feel like I'm getting first-hand experience that I can share with my peers as they age.
OH and I cheer each other up by telling ourselves that we are "going first," testing the water.
Have to be concerned about falling? I'm already there.
Need to walk with a walker? I already do. Use a wheelchair? Yep. [And friends that are arranging to borrow loaners for me are getting experience too!]
Get a disabled placard? I got it [And even though I am not driving anymore, I still use it when going out with friends.]
Buy and wear disposable underwear? I've got experience.
Use a pill container? (That's for you, J!) Sure.
I talked to a caller recently about his frustration with the hospital billing him instead of his health insurance company because they didn't want to "deal with the company" anymore. [Sadly, I have experience with this, too.]
I'm guessing the caller would prefer not to "deal" with either of them either! This seems so childish to me.
I look at this situation and am disgusted. We are sick. We can't spend our limited energy to mediate hurt feelings between the hospital and the insurance company.
$50,000 is a lot of money to us; for big corporations, it's only a drop or less.
I think the majority of us would like to honor our debts [if they are, in fact, our debts, not the hospital's bloated idea of place to start negotiating] but maybe just not in the time frame when they want it.
Don't even get me started on the costs we have to bear for the expensive medications that may or may not even be working! There is still no way to test for that; we can only wait and see.
And when you are just trying to do your best, make ends meet, and hang on until the next day when hopefully it will be better, petty squabbling between big corporations seems so pathetic.
I wish I could slap them and say "Grow up!"