Managing multiple financial priorities

Like many Canadians, you may have to manage multiple financial priorities once you start caring for someone who is ill. For example, you may be responsible for caring for both your parents and children at the same time.

Some of the many financial priorities you have may include:

  • paying the mortgage on your house
  • saving and/or paying for your children’s education
  • planning and saving for your retirement
  • caring for aging loved ones

Updating your budget to deal with multiple priorities

Caring for someone who is ill can have a significant impact on your finances. You may also have to take time off work to provide care and support. Working fewer hours to care for someone who is ill could lower your income. You may also have less money to save for things like education and retirement.

One of the most important things you can do to minimize the stress of competing financial priorities is to make sure you have a budget. If you already have one, update it to include any new financial responsibilities that you may have. Think about the following when updating your budget.

Your current financial obligations

  • Housing costs, like mortgage, rent and property taxes
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Utilities
  • Entertainment
  • Paying for a child’s education

New expenses you'll have once you start caring for someone who is ill

  • Medications
  • Specialized medical equipment
  • Home care
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparation and extra food costs
  • Home renovations and maintenance
  • Increased utility costs like a higher electricity bill

Other sources of income are available to help ease financial stress

  • Teenage children may be able to work part time to help pay for their education
  • If you're caring for a senior, they may have a pension or savings to help with the cost of their care.

The Benefits Finder can help you find government benefits to help you cover some of your expenses.

Debt repayment while being a caregiver

If you're struggling to cover your expenses while caring for someone who is ill, consider getting help with managing your finances or getting out of debt.

You could:

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