Get Prepared for Your Next Sick Day

Sick Day

You should be prepared for a sick day. Not an “I need to rush to the ER” type of sick day, but an “I can’t go to work” or “I need to call my doctor” type of sick day. The situation isn’t dire, but it’s disruptive to your usual schedule.

How can you prepare for it?

Know Your Sick Day Policy

Double-check your workplace’s sick day policy to see how much paid sick leave you have left in the year. Statistics show that full-time employees in private industries are given an average of 7 days of sick leave, whereas part-time employees get an average of 6.

Keep track of how many sick days you’ve already taken so far this year. You might be running low. If you don’t have any days left, you will need to talk to your manager about how to compensate for future sick days (for example, using another form of PTO).

Prepare for Sudden Prescriptions

Your doctor might write you a prescription that you need to take right away. How can you prepare for the sudden prescription payment without disrupting your monthly budget?


Check your health insurance policy. Most health insurance policies offer coverage for prescription medications, but they usually don’t offer full coverage. You should still expect to pay a portion out of pocket, depending on your policy and the medication.

Discount Card:

In some cases, it will be savvier to use a prescription discount card instead of relying on your health insurance. A prescription discount card will lower the cost of your medication, leaving you with less to pay out of pocket — potentially less than you would pay using your insurance! This is a great backup plan to have sitting in your wallet. So, if you don’t have a card already, get one. Most prescription discount plans are free to sign up for.

Emergency Fund:

You’ll want to have an emergency fund set up for surprise expenses, including prescription medications that you didn’t expect to get that month. You can use the savings in your fund to cover any out-of-pocket costs. The savings could also help you manage any drops in income when you’ve run out of paid sick days.

What if you don’t have enough in your emergency fund? In that case, you should borrow funds to cover your prescription. You can go to a website like CreditFresh and see whether you’re eligible to fill out an application for a personal line of credit loan. With an approved personal line of credit loan, you could use borrowed funds to pay off the urgent expense and recover from your illness. After that’s over, you could focus on following a loan repayment plan.

Don’t avoid your prescribed medication because it’s a surprise expense. Doing this could mean you take longer to recover or that your symptoms get much worse. You’ll have to take more time off and extend your struggle. You’re better off taking out a line of credit loan and repaying it than ignoring the expense altogether.

Stock Up Your Medicine Cabinet

Maybe you’ll only need to have some over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms. You can save yourself some stress by having some standard remedies sitting in your medicine cabinet.

What are some items you should have in your medicine cabinet?

  • Acetaminophen
  • Antacids
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Antihistamines
  • Aspirin
  • Calamine Lotion
  • Cough Drops
  • Cough Syrup
  • Cold Medicine
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

If you have these medications already, check their expiry dates. Expired medications do not work effectively and should be thrown out.

Stock Your Kitchen Cabinets

Grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking are not activities you’ll want to tackle when you’re sick. So, stock some shelf-stable essentials in your kitchen cabinets for those sick days, like canned soups, crackers and herbal teas. If you have kids, get some emergency freezer meals that you can pull out and heat up when you have no energy to whip up dinner.

Taking these steps will make your future sick days much easier to handle. They still won’t be pleasant, but at least they won’t be unnecessarily stressful.