Saturday, January 10, 2015

$8K in Autism Costs=Why I'm Trying To Make Some $ w/ My Blog

I was going to write an end of the year post tallying up all the money that we spend on Kyle for all his special needs activities, medical costs, etc.  I thought some of you would find this interesting.

And then this past Wednesday at 11:55pm I posted an advertisement or a "sponsored post" on my Autism Daddy Facebook page.  It was for a new zero calorie sweetener.  And some of you assumed my account had been hacked and others who realized I wasn't hacked were disappointed that I was posting ads on my FB page like that.

And so then I was going to write a quick post to explain why I'm trying to make a little $ off of my blog/FB page...

And then I realized that the posts could be combined!  The reason I need to monetize the blog/FB Page a little IS BECAUSE of the costs of raising a child with special needs. 

Now I'm not writing this to defend myself or to justify why I'm trying to make a little money. I just wanted to talk it thru a little...

:)

So here goes...

Last year I started using this app called Mint.com to track all of our expenses in one place. (No I'm not getting paid for mentioning Mint.com :)

And now that 2014 is in the books I decided to take a look and see where all are our money went. 

And no surprise, having a special needs child is a pretty HUGE part of our yearly expenses. 

So I thought it would be fun (for me :) to list for y'all exactly what we spent on the king. 

So here's the breakdown.  And before I get to this let me say that I know how lucky we are to be able to afford this all. That is not lost on me. Ok here goes...

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30 OT SWIM LESSONS X $85 EACH $2,550

MUSIC THERAPY 38 SESSIONS X $40 EACH

$1,520

SPECIAL NEEDS SUNDAY SWIM LESSONS 34 SESSONS X $22-23 EACH


$775

--THUR SPECIAL NEEDS "MOTION" CLASS, 30 SESSIONS X $7.50 EACH


$225

--SATURDAY SPECIAL NEEDS SWIM 27 SESSIONS X $13-14 EACH


$372

--SPEECH THERAPY AT LOCAL COLLEGE 13 SESSIONS X $25 EACH
$325

--5 RPM SESSIONS X $100 EACH
$500

--DOCTOR VISIT CO-PAYMENTS
$335

--REPLACEMENT IPAD (a now annual expense)
$280

--GAS DRIVING KYLE TO & FROM SCHOOL EACH DAY*

$1,120

--TOLLS DRIVING TO & FROM SCHOOL EACH DAY**

$320

--SAMI SEIZURE CAMERA

$400


GRAND TOTAL

$8,722


* = 40 MILES RT X $3.50 GALLON AVERAGE X 20MPG BETWEEN MINIVAN & CAR X 160 SCHOOL DAYS THAT KYLE ATTENDS

** =  $0.50 TOLL X 4RT X 160 SCHOOL DAYS

I could spend the rest of this post going into the details of why we do each of these activities, and "where's his prescription med expenses?", and "why do you drive your kid to school?", but I want to stay on point.  So to quickly answer, I wrote why we don't put our kid on the school bus HERE.  And we have a Medicaid waiver which pays for all Kyle's prescription co-pays and saves us THOUSANDS in additional doctor, medical, respite costs...

But back on point... So we spent $8722 in what you could call Special Needs related expenses...

Now I know some of you may say "if you had a typical kid you'd probably be spending the same amount of money or maybe even more on Little League and soccer practice and violin lessons."

And that's all true. 

In fact if we had a typical kid we'd probably have two or three kids and we might be spending a lot more on all those things. 

But the catch is if we had typical kids my wife would probably be working. 

Maybe full-time, maybe part time...who knows?  But I'm sure she'd be working and bringing in enough money to cover a lot of those kid(s) expenses.

But, I've written in a previous blog post (READ) how I think it's virtually impossible for her to work in our current situation.  Back then I wrote
When it comes to my wife getting a job... I honestly don't see what job that she could get for the 6 hours a day that Kyle is in school that would bring in enough money after taxes to make it worth her while...and what kind of job that she could get that would be so flexible with the weekly drama that is life with Kyle....not a week goes by where she isn't called about something... picking him up early because of an illness... going in early for a meeting.... dropping him off late after an early morning doctor appointment...  It never ends...
But if I'm being honest,  right now, we could use some extra income coming in... we could use the money from a part time job to help offset some of that  $8k in expenses every year.

So why shouldn't I consider the blogging a part-time job for me and treat it as such?

Between writing early in the morning, and writing late at night, and writing during bathroom breaks, :) there's some weeks where I might spend 10 to 15 hours writing...just like a part time job.

So why shouldn't I take advantage of this platform and try to make a little money?

And I know some of you may be thinking, "but why an ad for a sweetener?  why not something autism related"

I was paid $150 to post that ad about the sweetener.  $150!  For one post!  And it took me 5 minutes to write.

That $150 will almost pay for one week of all of Kyle's activities listed above (OT, swim, music, etc)

I would gladly do something autism related if it was as easy as that...but many of the autism related products I've received $ offers about want me to read & review an autism book or review an autism  product for a certain amount of money, but that would take up too much extra time.  I'm trying to avoid adding more hours on this Autism Daddy thing than the 10-15 that I spend writing.  

Already on some weeks the 10-15 hours I spend writing get in the way of my life.

 My son, my marriage, my real job all shouldn't take a back seat to me writing about autism. 

But sometimes they do...

And if I really wanted to monetize this blog properly and make $$ solely on things related to autism / epilepsy I'd need to put a lot more work in and spend more hours per week writing or hustling to find $$ opportunities.  

Or if I wanted to somehow fit it into the 10-15 hours  I'd have to change my writing style and write less personal stuff and spend more time reviewing autism books and autism products and having giveaways, etc. 

And I don't want to do that. I want to write my blog, my way about what I want to write about.

I want to continue to write about the personal stuff going on in our lives.  I want to write about the mundane stuff.  I love it when people tell me reading my blog and seeing our lives makes them feel less alone, makes them happy to see that there's somebody else out there just like them.

So the way I try to make money on the blog are, in my opinion, the easiest for me, the least time consuming for me, and I hope the least obtrusive to you.

My make money on this blog 3 ways...

1) When you click on one of the google adsense ads towards the top of the blog I earn a few pennies per click.  I don't control what ads show up there, and I'm not supporting any of those products, but if you see something that interests you click on the ad and I'll earn a few pennies.  


2) I am an Amazon Associate.  So whenever you shop Amazon if you click on any of the Amazon ads or search boxes you see on my page or if you enter the Amazon store by using this link http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&tag=a050ef-20 I 'll get a little kickback when you shop... basically a small percentage of each item purchased, a small commission for referring you.

(By the way you guys helped us IMMENSELY over the holidays by using the link.  Thank you SO MUCH!)


3) And then, every once in a while, an easy money opportunity like posting one post on Facebook for a sweetener for $150 will fall in my lap.  And I HAVE to take those!  Wouldn't you?  But I will try to keep them to a minimum and make them as un-obtrusive as possible.


So that's about it.  So when you see me pushing my Amazon link every week or so, or if you see a few extra google-adsense ads pop up on my blog from time to time, or if you see a bizzare post on FB from me in the middle of the night about a new sweetener, think about the $8722 and you'll know the deal.

Basically you're helping me earn a few extra bucks to go towards Kyle's special needs activities,  and you're helping wifey by her not having to go back to work which would be virtually impossible anyway.

So, there you go. That's about all I've got to say. 

Now you know why you see ads and sponsored posts on here from time to time. 

I'll try to make them as unobtrusive as possible. 

Over & out!

THE END

:)
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If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above? This way I can make a little money. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!

19 comments:

  1. My kuddos to you and yours. By the way I am in no way bothered by any of the ads and even less now that I know it is helping your son get all of the care and help required and needed. I sure do understand and I am very familiar what thus mission is like. I wish you and yours the best.

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  2. I hear you. When my son was diagnosed in 2000 insurance paid little to no money for the services my son required. We ate a lot of it and now are struggling to be able to send my NT daughter to college. Occupational therapy, ABT, doctors, new testing procedures etc. took the money that we had planned on saving for college. We will make it work, but just not as we had planned it.

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  3. I often wonder about the costs as well, my child is high functioning but we still have many extra costs. I am home, and home schooling our child. Something to consider. Home schooling made life so much easier. I have time to do thearpies; swimming, etc. not paying someone huge amounts of money for something I can do, and less driving! less worrying about those un-expected calls. As soon as I let go of thinking a professional does it better; my life got better. My relationship with my child is better. My child doesn't have the stress and doesn't do all the disturbing behaviours that she once did. Just a thought.

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  4. A replacement iPad would be a monthly thing in my household if it wasn't for the Griffin Survivor cases. My middle child (who has just been accepted for an autism assistance dog - yay! Now just need to fundraise for that!) gets frustrated and throws the iPad across the room on a regular basis. It is still in one piece even after all that abuse. I do love those cases!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! The cases are awesome. We have a BigGrips for 4 years now and the SAME iPad! We also have a service dog and he is lifechanging! Between $11K and $17K annually for one nonverbal boy is a lot, but he is worth every penny.

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    2. omg i love our Survior case too... we have to replace it about once a year or so as my son feels the need to chew and break off parts. Its saved us so many times, i have no idea what i'd do without it.

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  5. We do ABA therapy 4 days a week. It has been nothing short of amazing and our insurance covers it but we have a $40 per visit copay, so that is $160 per week out of pocket, PLUS the iPad, doctors, music, homeschool, speech therapy and OT.... so you are getting off easy. We have done $11,000 to $17,000 out of pocket these last 5 years. Not including special foods that cost more.

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  6. AD, you do not need to justify any of this to me. ASD parents know the cost of taking care of our children is tremendous. Then there is that other cost, the one we don't like to talk about, but we are always thinking about. How much money will my child need after I am gone?Any extra money we get goes into the "peace of mind fund." As far as I am concerned, you can post as many adds as you want. Kyle is worth every penny.

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  7. I don't blame you one bit for monetizing your blog. If everyone who visits your blog and enjoys reading the amazing glimpses of life as an autism family donated just $5 each, or even $2 each, the results would be more than enough to make a sizable dent in the care costs for Kyle. We are VERY lucky to have our son's needs covered by insurance (for now!), and after looking through the summaries we get each month for what has been billed to our insurance, it makes me queasy to think about what would happen if we had to pay for them out of pocket because there is absolutely no way we could afford it. My heart goes out to you and your wife and the sacrifices you make to be able to provide quality care and therapy for Kyle. If anyone has anything to say about you posting an ad now and then, they can shove it.

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  8. Consider this shared for maximum impact! :-)

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  9. Have you ever considered doing a t-shirt fundraising campaign, such as with booster.com? We did this for my son. I mainly ask because I'm sure MANY of your readers would LOVE to wear an Autism Daddy t-shirt!!

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  10. I read with interest. We live in another country and I too spend approximately what you do each year in our currency of what you spent on your Kyle. My son is low functioning and every week (at least during term time) I spent $200-300 taking him to private specialists. I honestly don't know how we afford it. In fact we don't, we are going backwards. I am exhausted from working multiple jobs to try and afford all this. Last year I was referred to our version of child protection services in our country for not doing enough to help my boy...I couldn't believe it! The lies that were written is incredible. (I requested all the notes). We also have an older daughter who is 9 and they also wrote she was missing out and getting left out as we were too focused on our son. Unbelievable too as she is the most over-indulged kid (not spoilt as in material things, but she gets so many activities and time as I look for every opportunity for her). I remain hurt and furious that anyone could have such accusations against me. And that they won't take responsibility for their actions. In actual fact the person involved was a school teacher and she never even bothered to talk to me and know how much extra stuff I do for my kids. When it all became apparent how much stuff we do for our kids the social worker involved almost fell over and told me didn't know what to say to me. She apologised to me verbally but I never got a written apology. I remain appalled at the actions of all involved. To Autism Daddy I applaud you in trying to raise money to subsidise the extra costs for your son. We do everything for our kids.

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  11. You didn't have to justify any of that...ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Ads don't bother me in the slightest. Still a great blog, sweetener or not :-)

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  12. I really appreciate you sharing your story through your blog. It has helped me so much over the past couple of years since my son was diagnosed with ASD! I will be more than happy to help you out by viewing ads or shopping Amazon through your link. I'm also going to ask my fiance to use your link as he shops Amazon regularly for his office. I wish the all the best to you and your family. Happy New Year!

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  13. baby needs a new pair of shoes. I get you.

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  14. I couldn't care less how many ads you feature... do what needs to be done, and ignore the naysayers...the fact that ANY one might have a problem with what you do with YOUR OWN blog and FB page is ridiculous!

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  15. 1st- I would so wear an "Autism Daddy" tshirt
    2nd- Why shouldn't you profit from something as great as your blog...you, your wife and Kyle help us all cope with some crappy stuff and feel like we are part of a special community.

    Jamie
    Jasper, GA

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  16. 1st- I would so wear an "Autism Daddy" tshirt
    2nd- Why shouldn't you profit from something as great as your blog...you, your wife and Kyle help us all cope with some crappy stuff and feel like we are part of a special community.facebook

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  17. This is a great post. I've tried for a while to think about how to talk about aspects of costs and the like in a blog I write (kinda, been slow of late) and you verbalized a lot of it perfectly. Especially the parts about the wife staying home versus not, etc.

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