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Maternity leave is a wonderful benefit for new parents. It allows them to take time off to care for their newborn child without risking their job in the process.
However, it is often expensive as well. That’s because many employees have to use sick days, vacation time and other benefits in order to have enough time away from work.
The result is that maternity leave can end up being one of the most expensive periods of time during an employee’s tenure with any given company. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take right now that can help reduce the financial burden of this period of your life and make things go much smoother as well.
Why You should Budget For Maternity Leave
While most companies do offer some type of maternity leave benefit, there is no federal law that mandates any specific level of pay during this time. Therefore, it’s up to your employer to determine how much they will allow you to earn while out of the office and what type of benefits you can expect while on leave.
This means that you have no control over the amount of money you’ll receive during this time. Instead, it’s completely up to their discretion. Because of this, it’s critical that you plan for this additional expense. It’s impossible to know what your employer’s policy is until you are actually pregnant, so you need to budget for the worst-case scenario.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can achieve this. You just need to know where to look to get started.
Common Baby Expenses
Baby expenses can add up quickly, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to go all out when it comes to your little one. Newborns require a lot of gear, and the cost of that can quickly add up. For example, a simple baby wash and lotion set can cost $20 or more, while a comfortable baby swing like this can be $100 or more.
The cost of diapers is also very high. In fact, the average American family spends between $500 and $800 per month on diapers, wipes and other baby hygiene products. Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on costs.
To start, make sure that you have a diaper savings plan. This will include information on the amount of diapers your baby will go through per week, per month and per year. This will allow you to buy in bulk and save money over the long run.
Additionally, make sure that you utilize coupons to save on everything from baby food to diapers to formula. It’s also a good idea to check for local baby sales in your area. You never know when you might stumble across an amazing deal on gear or other items that your little one will need.
Create A Budget
You’ll want to create a budget for your maternity leave to make sure that you don’t overspend or run out of money before the leave ends. While this is true regardless of whether you receive any type of maternity leave or not, it’s especially important in this situation. You don’t know how long your leave will last, and you also don’t know what your expenses will be.
This means that you need to make sure that you have enough money to get by until you return to work. To do this, you will want to start budgeting as soon as you know you’re pregnant. This will allow you to account for both your current expenses and any potential new ones that are coming up in the future.
Use A Cash Back Credit Card
One of the best ways to save money for your maternity leave is to use a cash back credit card. This will allow you to earn money back on everyday purchases, thereby reducing your overall expenses.
There are a number of different cash back credit cards available, so you’ll want to shop around and find one that best suits your needs. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the card has an interest-free introductory period so that you can pay off your purchases over time without incurring any additional costs.
This will make it much easier to budget for your maternity leave as well as make sure that you have enough money to get you through until you return to work.
Another way to reduce the cost of your maternity leave is to meal plan with a planner like this. This means that you’ll plan out what you eat for each meal and snack each week. You can even do this for each day if you’re really ambitious. This allows you to buy in bulk and use coupons to get lower prices on everything from produce to meat and everything in between.
Additionally, it allows you to buy foods that are on sale at the grocery store and use coupons to save even more money. You’ll want to meal plan from the very start of your pregnancy. This will allow you to buy foods that are healthy for your baby while also saving money and reducing your already high expenses.
As discussed above, you’ll want to utilize coupons to reduce the cost of your groceries. This is especially important during your maternity leave since it will allow you to stretch your money as far as possible. You’ll want to keep a coupon organizer by your fridge during pregnancy and beyond.
This will allow you to quickly find and use coupons at the grocery store, saving you money and reducing your already high expenses. It can be challenging to stay on top of your expenses while simultaneously trying to prepare for the birth of your child.
However, it’s critical that you do so if you want to make sure that you have enough money to get you through this expensive and difficult period of your life.
Maternity leave is a wonderful benefit for new parents, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can save money for this period of your life.
By creating a budget, using a cash back credit card and more, you can reduce your expenses and make this time much easier to get through.