If you’re on a tight budget, your family is probably familiar with the word sacrifice. You and your kids get by on fewer splurges and vacations than other families to make ends meet, and it works — most of the time. That is, until you’re faced with something like the flu shot. 

The flu shot is one of those important yet optional medical bills that can end up on your financial chopping block, but now may not be the time to skip this expense. 

Should You Contact an Online Direct Lender?

Online direct installment loans mean you’ll work directly with the lender that facilitates your installment loan, making it a convenient option in an emergency. When there’s only one lender involved with your online installment loan, there are fewer chances something could slow down the borrowing process.

When you can’t afford an essential expense, it may feel natural to borrow the money you need. But should you? 

Some online direct lenders may say “no” because they provide installment loans in unexpected emergencies. They may not consider the flu shot an emergency because flu season isn’t unexpected; it comes around the same time each year, so you should factor it into your family’s annual medical costs. 

Budget for the Flu Shot

With online installment loans off the table, look to your budget to see if you can cut spending in other areas of your life. 

The earlier you start budgeting for your flu shot, the easier you’ll find it is. Check out these tips to give your savings an even greater boost. They may take some effort to pull off, but it’s worth it if it keeps your family healthy. 

Your family’s health is more important this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as data shows you can be infected with both viruses simultaneously. 

There’s also the cost factor. If, by skipping the flu shot, your kids fall sick, you’ll face a medical bill far greater than any flu shot. You may end up having to pay for a doctor’s visit, and prescription or over-the-counter medicine at a time when you have to stay home from work to look after your kids. Your doctor may also recommend a COVID test, which averages to about $100 without insurance.

Take Advantage of the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program

The VFC is a program provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As long as you’re eligible, you can receive the flu shot and other essential vaccinations through the VFC for free. 

To qualify, your children must be under 18, and they can’t have health insurance that covers the cost of vaccinations. For more information on the program, click here

Call Your Local Health Department

You don’t always have to go to a pharmacy, clinic, or doctor’s office. These healthcare providers may end up charging you for something you can find for free elsewhere. 

Non-profit organizations, schools, community centers, and churches may coordinate flu clinics that provide free or low-cost inoculations. Depending on which state you call home, your government may also provide free flu shots. Call your local health department to see if they put on a free flu shot clinic in your area. 

Be Proactive

While the shot helps lower the risk of catching the flu any time you get it, it works best to you inoculate your family before cold and flu season starts. So, keep these tips in mind for next winter. They’ll help you prepare your budget for the future.