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Having a baby can be a very exciting experience for your whole family. From preparing for birth to the amazing moment of delivery, having a baby can be one of the greatest moments of your life. However, missing time from work can put you in a financial hole that may be difficult to escape from. Of course, getting paid maternity leave will help your finances substantially, but not all jobs offer this. Take a look at three tips below to help offset the financial impact of maternity leave.
When expecting a baby and you know that paid maternity leave isn’t an option, it’s best to save that PTO as best you can. While you wanted to take that trip to Hawaii or you wanted to skip a day or two because you were feeling under the weather, you have to do what’s best for the family and save that PTO for what’s to come.
Not only will saving paid time off lead to more money when you need it most, but it will help take some stress away from an already hectic time of your life.
While it may be a while before your precious baby arrives, it’s never too early to start saving some extra cash and to budget for when that time arrives. Think about how much the pregnancy will cost, all of the supplies you’ll need, and the costs of caring for your baby once he or she enters the world. That means diapers, clothes, formula if you choose or extra food for Mom if she’s nursing.
Also consider how much of the birth your insurance will cover, because you might need to factor in hospital bills once baby arrives. Even a natural delivery with no complications and a short hospital stay could cost several thousands out of pocket. Having an idea of these costs before the birth will keep them from being an unpleasant surprise during maternity leave. And fewer unpleasant surprises means more time to bond with baby.
Once you have your ideal budget in mind, it’s good to start living on that budget now. If you start budgeting effectively long before the baby arrives, it will help to offset the costs during pregnancy and will get you better prepared for maternity leave. You’ll already be comfortable with your new budget and can focus on more important things.
Short-term disability insurance plans will allow you to receive a portion of your pay during maternity leave for a certain amount of time. This insurance can also cover you in the event that you’re put on bed rest during pregnancy. So instead of bringing in no income, you could be bringing in, say, 60%.
However, to qualify for this insurance, you need to set it up before you get pregnant—which can be challenging. To find these insurance plans, check with your employer as they might offer some options. You may have signed up when you were signing up for your other benefits. You can also shop around to find other plans that might work better for your needs. Even if it doesn’t apply to your situation now, it’s good to keep in mind if you think you might have another child.
Having a child is an experience that will change you forever. In order to limit the stress of this transition and to provide the best possible start for your child and your new life as a parent, follow the three financial tips mentioned above. You’ll be feathering your nest in no time.