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With the flu season well and truly underway, some of us will find ourselves feeling a little under the weather. In most cases, it’ll just be a regular cold, but on occasion, it could be the flu – a far more dangerous disease than most people realize.
If you’re young and healthy, then the risk of total disaster is low. The flu, however, can make you feel lousy for a couple of weeks. It can be so bad that you can’t go to work or even function at your usual level.
And for people trying to save money, that’s a problem. Sick leave doesn’t pay as well as regular holiday, so what can you do?
It turns out that there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to attempt a little money-saving during your time off work, even if you’re not getting your regular income.
Here are some ideas.
Start By Avoiding Getting Sick In The First Place
Even with the best intentions, you will sometimes still get sick. That’s life. You can, however, lower your risks dramatically with a few simple and surprisingly cheap interventions.
First, live a healthy lifestyle in general. The more berries and greens you can eat, the more active your immune system will be, and the more you can fight off nasty bugs in your environment before they have a chance to take hold.
Second, get your flu shot. While there’s a bit of controversy around the flu vaccine, there’s no doubt that it is mildly effective. It could reduce your chance of getting the flu by around fifty percent – which is pretty good odds.
Finally, practice good hygiene. If you go on public transportation or the gym during the day, use antibacterial soap when you get home before you touch food or your face.
Buy Generic Drugs
If you do get ill, there’s usually no need whatsoever to buy flashy, branded drugs – generics will do just the trick.
The main difference between generic drugs and branded alternatives usually isn’t medical. Instead, it is things like the delivery mechanism. Generic painkillers, for instance, will work, they just may take a little longer to get to their intended destination than, say, Neurofen.
If you’re on a prescription, ask whether the doctor can put you onto a generic version. If you’re not sure about the differences between generic and branded, then have a conversation with your physician. Usually, they can give you the low-down and some of the costs and benefits.
Don’t Buy More Medicine Than You Need
The medical establishment is getting pretty good at knowing how long you need to be on specific drug regimens before your disease sorts itself out. Some conditions are open-ended, meaning that you have no idea how long they will last. Others, though, have specific time horizons – bacterial infections, for instance, are a good example. Once you have the antibiotic in your system, it’s just a matter of waiting a few days before it cleans up the infection, and you’re ready to move on.
There’s no need, therefore, stack up on mountains of medicine unless your doctor tells you to. Usually, you just need a quick course, and that’s it.
Claim Sick Pay
Most employers offer sick pay – salary you earn while you’re sick that provides the income you need to keep your finances ticking over.
Some companies run quite generous schemes, offering a high percentage of your original income – others less so. It all depends on your employer. If you’re ill, speak with your HR department and find out what schemes they offer. Ask them how long you can claim it. Employers will often set limits.
Choose The Cheapest Pharmacy
If you want cheap drugs and prescriptions, then your best bet is to choose an online pharmacy. You can check out their reviews here. Online pharmacies are a little bit like online retailers, able to cut costs because they don’t have regular physical premises. All you do is log onto the pharmacy online, send them your prescription, and start ordering the meds you need. Usually, you’ll find them more competitive than your local haunt.
Use Home Remedies
Buying expensive drugs to deal with your condition isn’t always necessary. Sometimes home remedies can work too.
Suppose, for instance, that you’re off work because you have gout. If you have this condition, you may want to cut out meat and sugar for a month or so to see whether it helps alongside your regular treatment. People usually find that the condition clears up faster when they eat a healthier diet.
If you have the flu, it is usually just a case of waiting for your body’s immune system to deal with the problem before you can get back to the task of earning money. That’s not to say, though, that you can’t boost your immune system to make it work harder. Common home remedies include things like lemon tea, eating plenty of berries, and increasing your consumption of foods in the allium family, such as garlic and onion.
Don’t Go To Work
If you’re keen on saving money, then going to work while you’re sick seems like a no-brainer. How are you supposed to save money if you’re not earning? It turns, though, that trotting along to the office while you have the flu can backfire considerably. First, you could infect other people in your team, making your task even harder when you do eventually return properly. And, secondly, you may extend the length of your recovery period, forcing you to take more time off work.
Find Cheaper Healthcare
Healthcare fees can be substantial. Even with insurance, you often wind up having to pay massive deductibles, which crater your savings.
Unless it is an emergency, shop around for treatment. Sometimes, you’ll find that out-of-pocket options are less expensive than going through your regular insurer. Doctors’ offices, ER, and clinics all offer different prices for treatments, depending on the illness.
So, in conclusion, saving pennies while you’re ill isn’t easy. There is, however, a lot you can do to limit the damage.