How to Survive Financially On Maternity Leave
We all know how important it is to have enough time with your new baby after giving birth. You don’t want to leave the hospital and drive straight back to the office with your fresh new child in tow. However, it can be challenging to find enough cash to manage when you’re not being paid the same amount you would earn from your usual income.
Paid maternity leave is a god-send when you’re planning on starting a family, but it’s rarely enough to cover all of the expenses that you can face as a new parent. Additionally, if you decide that you want to stay away from work longer than expected, you’re going to need a plan.
Step 1: Know How Much You’ll Get Paid
The first thing you need to do is figure out how much you’re going to get paid on maternity leave. Some companies pay more than others so it could depend on your employer. You may even find that your employer gives you more paid time off than other companies. Figure out precisely what you’re owed, and make sure that you check the details, as extra pay could come with specific conditions attached.
Step 2: Work on your Budget
Once you know how much you’re going to be earning, combine your money with any other cash you can expect from your partner or other incoming cash. This will allow you to start working on your budget. Ideally, you’ll want your outgoing expenses to be lower than your incoming money. If you’re paying too much each month, you’ll need to look for ways that you can reduce costs. For instance, could you reduce what you’re spending on utility bills by changing provider? Could comparing the costs on your loan for baby products help you to reduce ongoing expenses by lowering your interest rates?
Step 3: Look for Additional Earning Options
If you’re keen to stay away from work for as long as possible, but you also need to earn some extra cash, talk to your boss about the option of remote working. Some employers will be comfortable to let you log into a computer for a few hours each day from home. If they allow this, then you could continue to earn a bit of extra cash without having to leave your baby for a moment. It could be an excellent way to extend your maternity leave.
Step 4: Inspect Every Saving Opportunity
Few things inspire your frugal side more than becoming a parent. When you’re on your maternity leave, make sure that you look for as many new ways to save money as possible. For instance, could you use an app to track your expenses and send information to your phone? What about downloading a plugin that automatically scans for voucher codes when you’re ready to check out with a purchase online? You’d be surprised how much you can save with just a few simple changes.
Step 5: Save on Sitters
Finding childcare can be one of the most expensive parts about becoming a new parent. Fortunately, if you also have friends and family that are in a similar position as you, then you could consider teaming up for some savings. For instance, arrange to look after all of the kids in your group on Mondays, so that you can get Tuesdays and Fridays free. Just make sure that you can commit to whatever you agree to. Your group will get sick of you if you always flake out on your babysitting day.
Step 6: Borrow and Swap
Part of being frugal as a new parent means understanding that you might not be able to afford to buy new products every time. Although you want the best for your baby, don’t be opposed to looking for ways to save a little extra cash by borrowing from friends, swapping products with people online, or even buying second-hand from thrift stores. Many baby products are available for cheap second hand because children grow very quickly.
Step 7: Pause Certain Payments
Finally, there may be opportunities where you can pause certain payments if you’re in a difficult situation. For instance, you might be able to cut down on your costs by switching to an interest-only mortgage for a little while. Alternatively, you could consider asking your gym whether you can pause your membership for a while and start working out from home again. You can always start things up again when you’ve got more money in your pocket.