The last year has been one of the most challenging ones that I have experienced ever since I divorced and my parents passed away in the same year.

Most of the year was taken up with my medical issue of having to deal with advanced glaucoma, I had lost 95% of my sight in my left eye. How that happened is another story. I had to undergo an eye operation to alleviate the pressure in my eye that was damaging my eyesight. However, the most challenging aspect of this new situation was taking medication to lower the pressure in my eye. This medication also lowered my energy level to almost zero. For a person who is used to having an action-packed day, all of a sudden needing to go to sleep in the afternoon was pretty devastating to me.

Being self-employed and not having any energy to work had a direct impact on my business. I was doing the minimum of the minimum. What happened to my business, and how did I manage financially?

First of all, I had an emergency fund. The fund was enough to cover all of my expenses for three months. Since I was still working there is still money in the fund.

I started to prioritize expenses based on what I needed as opposed to what I wanted. What could be paid in installments and what could be postponed?  For food, I prepared a meal plan and bought just what I needed. I didn’t spend money on entertainment since I was too exhausted to go out! Learning how to streamline expenses and to adjust to a new situation, was invaluable in staying financially stable and not being sucked into the spiral of debt.

Also, I took advantage of the health insurance which up until now, never had to use it. I utilized the option for a second opinion. However, I was allowed just one second opinion, but I still had to get another second opinion. The second opinion I had to pay Yes, there were funds for that. The second opinion in fact saved my eye.

After I recovered, I stopped taking the medication. I realized that my business needed to be revamped, and I have taken on a business mentor to help me on my journey. I decided to invest in my business to invest in my future.

The most important move that I made after this life-changing event was to receive psychological help. This was invaluable, as it helped me focus on my business and not on what happened to me.

What did I learn from this journey?

1. Always have an emergency fund.
2. Make sure that you have updated health insurance that covers items that your chupat cholim doesn’t.
3. Your health is important, and there should always be funds for treatment.
4. Streamlining expenses and learning how to prioritize expenses can be a financial lifesaver.
5. Investing in your mental health is important in order to move on.

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.