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Financial Planning

There's no way to avoid it. If you are going to get your life together, you have to have your finances in order. Unpaid bills and looming debt can result in a lot of stress. When you have a chronic illness, such as arthritis, your financial life can become even more stressful, sometimes even resulting in a flare.

Arthritis affects more than just your health. Keeping healthy means being financially healthy as well as physically healthy. Arthritis costs include doctor bills, prescriptions and hospital fees as well as missed work, special services such as home health care or disability claims, and assistive devices. In fact, arthritis costs an estimated $82.4 billion annually in the U.S., including direct and indirect costs.

In order to take charge of your arthritis completely, you have to take charge of your finances. If your financial life is scattered and you've been avoiding dealing with it, now is the time to get it together once and for all.

First, spend part of your 10-minute daily meditation picturing yourself in a more secure financial place. Maybe this means creating a budget that really works for you. Or perhaps it means coming up with a plan to pay off some outstanding bills. Maybe it is time to start saving for that new house, car or vacation. What does it feel like not to be anxious or worried about money? How does it feel when you've reached these financial goals?

Now, take steps to make that vision come true. Write down all your monthly expenses and add them up. Then subtract that from your monthly income.

If your expenses are less than your income, you are in a good place. You have extra money at the end of the month. Put that money toward reaching your future financial goals.

If your expenses and your income are equal, you are still fine. If you have unexpected expenses, however, such as hospital bills or a new water heater, you could quickly end up in financial trouble. Scrutinize your expenses to find out where your money is going. Are you eating out a lot or going to a lot of movies? Maybe you start taking your lunch to work instead of going out or renting movies instead of going to the theater.

If your expenses are more than your income, you need help to fix this. Try the steps above or get help to try to fix the problem. Find a financial advisor that can point you in the right direction.

Being financially secure can give you piece of mind and allow you to move closer to your goal of being healthy - mind, body and spirit.

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