If you are the primary caregiver for an elderly relative, you will soon come to realise that your responsibility is not limited to their personal health. You will discover within a matter of weeks that you will ultimately be expected to take care of their lives in general, which includes everything from regular outings to their finances. The latter will usually be one of your more pressing concerns, whether you feel comfortable with the idea of being responsible for another’s money or not.
In an ideal world there will be very little to this and you will not need to spend much time on it because of wealth that your senior relative has accumulated over the years. However, in reality it rarely plays out that way. You will effectively have to budget for them over the course of the time that they are in your charge.
Before you can even begin to start budgeting for your elderly relative, you need to work out exactly where they stand with their finances. You can do this by getting organized and drawing up an effective set of accounts that you can work with on a weekly basis. These accounts do not have to be professional by any means, as long as you can fully understand and follow them. You should look at all of the household bills and payments towards outstanding debts as well as any other outgoings over the twelve months before you actually too over that particular set of finances.
Taking income from pensions and other sources into account, you should take the previous years’ outgoings as a good indicator of what you can expect to pay out in the coming year as well as the amount of expendable wealth that you will be left with for general provisions.
Income is a vital key to your ability to budget. You must research the source of this money to ensure that bank credits will remain at the same amount. If you fail to do this, you could possibly find yourself in a financial mess on behalf of your elderly relative and that would certainly throw a spanner in the works as far as your budgeting is concerned. However, if you do complete the necessary research then you can then begin budgeting from there.
It may also be worth setting aside some money every month to put into a rainy day savings fund on behalf of the elderly relative under your care. None of us know what the future holds for us, and in some ways we should be thankful for it. However, if your relative does need specialist care or treatment and has to pay for it, then you may find yourself in an impossible situation. Seniors often have to sell their homes in order to get the medical care that they need, whether that is in the form of home help or medication, so it is best to avoid this by preparing them financially for every eventuality.
Budgeting on behalf of an elderly relative under your care may indeed prove to be a pain, especially if you are striving to fulfil all of their other needs at the same time. However, it is very necessary to give them a helping hand in this department because they may otherwise find that they have no heating, water or even roof over their head. Utility companies are notoriously unsympathetic if bills do not get paid and thus it may prove extremely prudent to begin budgeting from the very first day that you accept the role as primary caregiver. It will certainly pay dividends in the long term.
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