When you start planning to have a family, you’ll find that there are a lot of different things you need to consider. For instance, you might need to think about how you’re going to make ends meet when your new baby arrives. You might even decide to take out loan to get cash so you can afford to pay for all of those big-ticket items that your baby needs, like a cot or a car seat.
One major point that you and your partner will need to think about, is how you’re going to manage the changes that maternity leave makes to your finances. After all, even if your employer offers maternity leave, the chances are that you’re going to get a lot less cash than you would have if you were going to work every day. So, how do you manage your money during this transformational period in your life? The following four tips will help.
1. Get on your Post-Baby Budget Early
The sooner you start living on your post-baby budget, the better. If you know you’re not going to have a lot of money to spend after you have your child, try living on a single income for a while to see how significantly it affects you. This will give you some extra cash that you can save to use during your maternity leave, and it will also make it easier to plan for living with less money.
Living on a single income for a while should also help you to decide whether it’s possible for one person within the relationship to stay away from work after having a child. While some parents prefer to go back to work after starting a family, others find that the child cost expenses are too significant. Move into your post-baby budget as soon as you begin trying for a baby and focus on building your emergency savings up as much as possible.
2. Save your Holiday Time
If you’re thinking about starting a family, it’s a good idea to speak to your boss or HR department about the kind of support you’ll get during maternity leave. The length of your leave period and the amount of income you get from your employer will vary depending on your job. If you’re not going to get enough time out for you and your baby, you might want to see whether you can save up some of your holiday time and add that to the mix too.
While you may be tempted to take one last trip with just you and your partner before your baby arrives, saving your time off could give you access some crucial extra money and time when your bundle of joy appears. Of course, this strategy will only work if your employer allows you to save up your holiday time.
3. Plan for New Expenses
Having a child can be a real shock to the system for new parents. Although you expect that a lot of your life will change, the difference in your lifestyle can be a lot more significant than you think. You won’t just be looking for ways to replace the missing income that comes with having one parent away from work, you’ll also be looking for ways to pay for extra expenses that you didn’t have to deal with before.
For the initial big-ticket expenses like a new pram or pushchair, you can think about getting a personal loan and paying off what you owe over time. However, this will mean that you have more long-term monthly expenses to think about. Additionally, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to afford things like extra food, diapers, and clothes on a monthly basis. Prepare yourself early by writing a list of all the things you’ll need to pay for when your new baby arrives. This will help you to figure out how much money you need each month.
4. Look for New Ways to Make Money
Finally, whether you need extra cash during your maternity leave, or you’re thinking of quitting your job and spending more time with your child at home, there are some ways that you can make a little extra money to put towards your bills. For instance, if you haven’t gone through your belongings in a while, think about spring cleaning your home and looking for things you can sell online for extra cash.
If you want a more long-term way to make money after your child is born, you can always consider looking into freelance gigs and jobs online. This way, you can earn money in your own time without having to find childcare for your baby.
** This is a guest post **