Frugal Idea #28: Taking Care of Business (During Flu Season)

I received my annual flu shot last week… and it was free!

flu frugalnev

As a kid until the time I graduated from college, I knew that every winter, I would get really sick. So sick that I would miss at least 1 week of school or work. It was a given. My parents never exposed me to the act of flu shots and the fact that we has so many people living in a small space, it was very easy to pass on germs. There were always those co-workers who never got sick and I was jealous. As I grew older and my body started changing, I knew that I had to start taking care of myself. When you take care of your mind and body, you will have more energy and remain balanced so that you can continue to focus on your goals. Besides, when you are sick, you will miss work.  This can affect your salary if you are an hourly employee, a contractor or consultant, or freelance worker. Here are some ideas to have a healthy winter so that you can maximize work opportunities and reduce the possibilities of discrepancies in your income.

Invest in your health! I am very lucky to have access to health benefits. That is how I was able to receive a complimentary flu shot from the local Rite Aid. Earlier this year, I had horrible stomach pains and went to the emergency room of a local hospital. After numerous tests, I discovered I had a parasite. Prior to the emergency room visit, I was requesting days off from work, scheduling visits with doctors, and spending quite a bit of money on travel to the health facilities, co-payments, and on top of that, losing out on work hours. After a couple of doses of antibiotics, I was back to my normal self. That is until, I received the medical bill – almost $2000! My insurance covered 90% of the bill and I was responsible for the rest. I could not fathom the idea of having no insurance and facing a debt as large as an emergency room visit. To avoid a situation of going into medical bill debt, take a look at different healthcare options, researching on Covered California if you reside in the State of California, or join a recruiting and staffing firm which may offer benefits to their temporary staff and consultants.  Not only must you protect your body, but protect your wallet as well.

Pay attention to your body. As the winter chill takes over, be sure to prepare for the flu and cold. When you are feeling extra tired, chances are you may have caught a bug. Force yourself to rest more, take naps, and sleep 8 hours if you can. If you are taking public transportation, be sure to carry wipes or antibacterial gel so that you can reduce the germs you may have on your hands. Wash your hands a lot. I sing the entire song of “Happy Birthday” in hot water (I forget where I learned to do that), but supposedly, that is the length of time you should wash your hands to remove germs. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water (more than you usually do), and have your vitamins stocked.

Learn more about the benefits offered from your employer. Many employers offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Depending on what is offered, you can receive complimentary referrals or services. When my father passed away, I utilized the mental health benefit and was able to see a therapist for multiple weeks at no charge. If you are going through a difficult situation this winter such as experiencing the holidays without a loved one for the first time, this may be a great option for you.

Reduce the stress! Winter can be a very stressful time. You may be the one to plan Thanksgiving dinner this year, you may have to travel, see relatives that you do not always agree with, or buy gifts for the holidays and then stress about your financial situation. Learn to say no to parties that you do not want to attend to and learn to say no when you do not have the financial capacity to spend for others.  Be sure to squeeze in a workout to keep the body moving and maintain a strong immune system. In fact, I just installed a pull up bar in my apartment. I currently can do three assisted pull ups (yes, working on it).

As I wrap up this blog, I realize I also need to wipe down this keyboard. The ideas are endless and don’t forget to pull the down comforter out of storage. Bundle up and happy holidays!

About the Blogger:


Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA.  Growing up in a low income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself  carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.


Follow me on Twitter: NEVBB (Frugal Nev)


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