Ah, maternity leave, the joyous bonding time for you, your baby and your loved ones. With my maternity leave coming to an end, here are my 5 ways to financially survive it
But whether you’re getting 100% paid for your salary of it or claiming UIF, making your money stretch can be a real stress. Trust me, I know…
Create a budget
If you haven’t by now, start by creating a budget and start working with it…immediately. If you know what you’re spending your money on, you’ll know where you’re wasting your money as well. If you start budgeting and saving at the beginning of the pregnancy, you might save close to the amount you need for your leave.
Pay as much debt as you can before baby arrives
That store cards, the credit cards, loans, even school fees, transport fees or aftercare fees, pay up as much as you can before the baby arrives. It might be more difficult with added unexpected baby expenses and additional medical bills, but it is necessary when the baby comes.
Get realistic about what your new baby wants and actually needs
Yes, I know that a new baby can be exciting, but really now, a newborn doesn’t need shoes and bows or denim and dungarees. They don’t need the latest pram that you’ll still be paying off long after they can almost walk. Babies need comfort, love, and care. Be realistic when prepping for your baby and be realistic about what you can afford. A great saving tip is sourcing many second-hand items like on Facebook Market place, as you can get great second-hand options for ¾ of the price.
Pre-plan for unforeseen bills
This is reality, you will need to plan for extra expenses you didn’t have before.
Your medical costs may go up with baby visits or post-birth care. How you can save is to chat to your medical aid or your accounts person at your gynae and ask for a breakdown of extra costs you may need to cover post-birth.
About that baby:
You may find that your baby doesn’t want the formula recommended or they are allergic to it – so trialing with 2 – 4 different tins of formula can get really expensive. You may find that you are going through more diapers than you budgeted for (no first-time parent can predict this—babies create a ton of used diapers). It helps to have extra money on hand the first few months after you have a baby.
Look at ways to save or make cash
I love cooking but I found close to my due date, I could hardly cook because I was so exhausted and so big. And the result was that we ended up eating a lot more takeaways than we should have. Invest in daily suppers. We use K-Line. This way, my family gets a fresh healthy homemade meal, I don’t have to think of something to cook, I have more time on my hands for my 8 year old and husband, and because we went this route, I managed to slash my monthly grocery bill down to under R1000.00 for a family of 5.
Schooling and kids:
Purchase school things such as labels, new school clothing, etc, in phases over your pregnancy. That way you don’t feel it financially and you save on stress if your baby happens to be born over the school closing period.
Declutter and sell some things
It was Marie Kondo who said that we should only keep things that spark joy. So why not declutter, get your hustle on and sell some of your old things or find a way for them to make you money. You don’t need to throw your precious belongings straight into the bin. Someone will want to buy your stuff and you get to keep their money.
Good luck and let me know if you have money-saving tips.