Some companies pay you for your entire maternity leave. This was never the case for me. My second pregnancy the company I worked for provided 40% pay till you were released from the doctor’s care. (Typically 6 weeks). That was only half of the 12 weeks I was allowed to take thanks to FMLA. Still not enough time with my new arrival but time is time. So I needed to save some funds to make up the difference. My third pregnancy I will be receiving no income during my maternity leave. So I have put together a plan to make it through the 12 weeks. Not everyone takes a full 12, some may only take 6 weeks, some may get even more time (consider me envious). These tips will help you get through your pregnancy without feeling overwhelmed during your special moments with your new arrival.
- Don’t procrastinate!!! The moment you find out you are expecting is the moment you need to start saving. 40 weeks goes by a lot faster than you expect.
- Go through your monthly expenses and pin point how much you are going to need during your leave. I suggest sitting down with your monthly statement and 2 different color highlighters. One for needs and the other for extras. Necessities should always come first.
- Open a savings account to put money aside. I chose to open an account so I can easily transfer money over as soon as my paycheck came in. If you prefer to save cash, buy a piggy bank and super glue the bottom so you are not tempted to take any out. I actually had to use this method on my daughter’s piggy bank so she would stop depleting her funds. No need to buy an expensive coin jar, since you will need to break it open. I bought a mason jar coin lid on Amazon here , place on your favorite color mason jar(mine is purple) and you are good to go.
- Figure out how much financial assistance, if any, you will receive during your leave. Make sure you do your research within your company to know what they offer. I emailed my Human Resources constantly to get answers to all my questions. ***Emailing was important so I had a paper trail.
- Make a plan to save and stick with it. I have included my weekly savings plan on this page.
- Spend less now! Time to trim the financial fat. Please refer to my post, How I Weaned Myself of Money, to get some great tips to cut back on spending.
- Buying every baby item is not necessary! I know the temptation is constantly there to buy those cute little socks, but let’s be honest, they don’t even keep them on. I bought one neutral onesie set during my first trimester. You read that right, one. Wait it out a bit. The later you start buying the less you will spend. Remember: Needs Before Extras!
- Remember you will spend less on your leave. If you are anything like most mommas you will be with baby all the time and not worrying about going out to dinner or buying the newest outfit. Spending will go down without you even noticing.
- Save those gift cards. Any gift card I received during my pregnancy I stashed away. Even those little five dollar ones add up. I was pregnant during the holidays and my birthday, so I managed to save Starbucks, Target and some restaurant gift cards. I placed them in a drawer and forgot they existed.
- RELAX! The last thing you want to do is over stress. Everything always has a way of working itself out.
I hope these tips help you better prepare for your new arrival. I have experienced a few pregnancies and know the stress can consume you over the weeks ahead.