Snarky Thoughts on Personal Finance From a Dad of Two

It’s Hard to Save When You’re Sick—But That’s No Excuse

Being sick stinks.

Being sick can cost you.

Being sick can cost you.

I’ve been battling some sort of mystery virus over the last couple of weeks that’s left me feeling pretty rotten. And as a result of my crappy state, I haven’t been as disciplined in my spending habits as I usually am. 

I cringed today when I thought of the financial outlays I’ve made as a direct or indirect result of my illness.

I’ll break this down for you, but first I’d like to point out that I’m EXTREMELY thankful to have health insurance, so most of these expenses are not actually medical related. They are almost all things I’ve purchases as an indirect result of being sick.

Here’s the breakdown:

Doctor’s visit: $15 co-pay.
Tylenol: $8
Iced coffees: $10.- I don’t normally buy these, but I’ve felt so run down that I’ve felt like the caffeine will give me a little boost.
Protein shakes: $11. There’s a protein shake shop near my office, and I rarely buy anything there because the drinks start at $5.50 a pop. But I’ve bought a couple because I got suckered into believing they are healthful and will help me get well.
Subway sandwich and iced tea – $7. I usually pack my lunches. But on this day, the only thing I had in the house to pack was leftover pork. And I was in no mood for leftover pork. So I bought a turkey sandwich.

So that’s $51 out of my wallet that I normally wouldn’t have spent. And I’m willing to bet that the average sick person spends even more. There’s a whole industry out there that markets itself to sick people, with products ranging from Vitamin C elixirs to special foods supposedly designed to boost your immune system. A lot of it’s psuedoscience hogwash…your doctor will tell you that rest and fluids are the best path to recovery, and sleep and water are still free, last time I checked.

There’s a broader issue about spending at play here, which is that we find ways to rationalize a lot of the purchases we make.

“I’m a little tired today, so I’ll stop at Starbucks.”

“I’m not excited about the food in the fridge, so let’s go out.”

“I had a tough week, so I am treating myself to this massage.”


Category: Spending