By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: December 6, 2013
Welcome to my first post in a new feature I like to call “Hot Flash – Cold Cash” or better yet, “Menopauses – Bills Don’t”.
As a financial advisor who is currently riding the dizzying heights of perimenopause, I’ve learned rather quickly how essential it is to prioritize when it comes to finances. I’m not necessarily referring to the costs associated with menopause such as medical visits, ER visits, insurance, chill pillows and prescriptions, but more so those financial obligations called bills. The ones you had before your brains started to short circuit and your body started to pelt you with phantom aches and pains. Whether you’ve found relief through HRT, acupuncture, natural remedies, or you’re amongst the many warriors toughing it out, letting your financial commitments slide will only add more stress to an already crazy-tense time.
If you are the primary accountant for the household, prioritize your tasks and use your calm, lucid moments to get your bills in order. Revisit how you used to do them. What can make the task easier and more efficient? Curling up in the fetal position in bed and hoping they go away is not an option. Remember, denial is not just a river in Egypt. Did you write out checks and snail mail them hoping they’d get paid by their due dates? I propose that you go virtual. Online bill paying has become more and more secure, not to mention reliable and very effective. I suspect that wherever you do your banking (unless it’s Bubba’s Bank and Bait), they have online access available to you.
And don’t tell me you’re intimidated by computers and the internet. You’re here aren’t you? You found this site on the internet. You are a RED HOT MAMA and we never say die. Of course we’re known to say “Is it hot in here or is it me?” But we never say die…
If you feel nervous about establishing your online access, consult a family member who is tech savvy – the nearest child will usually do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get it set up. Have all your most recent statements nearby so you have easy access to your account information and slowly (to provide accuracy), create your bill pay concierge. You will be able to set the due dates and amounts so you won’t have to worry, nor will you miss a payment or be late. Once all your bills are entered, you will see the total amount going out. Please make sure you have enough money in your bank account to cover them.
That wasn’t so hard. Remember, you have to add new bills as they come in, or change the amount due if it fluctuates. This is not a set and forget concept, but it will make your life easier. If you find that’s it’s too much for you and feeds your anxiety, pass the baton to a responsible adult in the household. A spouse, partner or even your live-in adult child may be more than willing to take over this task for you. Trust me, anything that lightens your stress load is worth doing.
About The Author
Elizabeth Allen is 54 years old and has been steeped in perimenopause for 5 years. She began experiencing severe symptoms in 2013 and decided to begin HRT. She is a financial advisor by day and an author by night. She penned her first three books: Who Got Liz Gardner, Discovering Arugla and Ima Pigg before launching into the change.
“Connecting with other women globally over the internet and locally who are going through this has helped me more than the meds. Knowing I’m not alone or going crazy makes all the difference. I lost both my mother and older sister to ovarian cancer and neither shared their menopause experiences with me before they went. I miss writing terribly but the one thing I haven’t recovered yet since starting HRT is sustained focus. There are at least four more books in my head waiting to get out. I suppose it could be worse. They could be evil voices!” — Elizabeth Allen
Elizabeth currently I lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband of 23 years, her 18-year-old daughter, and Shayna – the Catahoula Leopard dog. Check out her work at www.elizabeth-allen.com and www.ameripriseadvisors.com