Monday 8 August, 2022

How to Juggle Your Finances and Cancer

When you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, there’s so much to deal with it can be hard to seperate the emotional from the practical. 

The financial implications of cancer are one of those practicalities that many then find themselves facing. Whether you’re unable to work due to illness, having to take more time off or facing more expenses due to cancer, knowing how to handle your money can help and offer some peace of mind during a stressful period. 

We’ve teamed up with Cancer Society New Zealand and Live Sorted to share some advice around cancer and finances you can put into practise. 

How to talk about your finances:

You might find you need to talk to your providers, be that your gas or electric company, your mortgage provider or landlord or bank, about the new financial situation you’ve found yourself in.

Live Sorted and Cancer Society New Zealand suggest the following six steps for handling that conversation. 

  1. Explain the situation – especially highlighting the impact your diagnosis has, or will have, on your finances. 
  2. Confirm what you can do – talk to them about what you can afford and how frequently you will be able to make those payments. 
  3. Describe what the best outcome for you would be – is it smaller payments, no payments or a scheduled payment you make at a later date? 
  4. Ask about your options – sometimes, banks and utility companies can offer a range of things to help ease the financial burden. These might include smaller repayments, deferrals or interest only repayments for a period of time. 
  5. Request a record of your conversation – get the company to follow up over email with everything that you’ve discussed, so that you have it in writing to refer back to if needed. 

Make a budget:

Once you know what your new financial situation looks like, you might find it useful to make a budget. 

There are four things you’ll need to build a budget:

  1.  A record of your day-to-day spending
  2.  A list of your annual costs
  3. Your income information
  4. Any savings or investment information

It’s important to be honest with yourself about what your everyday spending looks like. You can use your online banking or recent bank statements to get a better understanding of what that is as it will show you everything from your mortgage or rent to bills and subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify.

You can find more info on budget planning on the Live Sorted website.

Talking to your employer:

It’s important that you talk to your employer about your diagnosis and explain to them what it means. Letting them know what you’re going through will help when it comes to taking any time off you might need in order to attend appointments, get treatment and recover. In turn, your employer will be able to talk you through your rights, entitlement to leave and any benefits you might be entitled to.

In most places, employers cannot dismiss you because you are seriously ill. They will be required to make adjustments in order to accommodate for you whilst you’re going through cancer and help develop a return to work plan. 

For more information from Live Sorted visit their website. 

To learn more about the work Cancer Society New Zealand do, visit their website.

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