Hacking a Non-Paid Maternity Leave
How I am Planning on Mitigating the “Damage”
As I am getting closer to giving birth I am doing my best to prepare for when the baby comes and for when I will eventually have to go back to work postpartum.
I do not get paid maternity leave so money is and will be tight for the next few weeks as I save as much as I can and then survive without my paycheck. I am not totally sure how long of a leave I will take (I am lucky enough to have a lot of flexibility for my work and since I do work from home I can technically go back to work a lot earlier than many moms. So a lot to be grateful for!)
(No, that is not what my “nursery” looks like. My “nursery” is a bassinet that takes up all the space between my bed and the wall. Nothing like 3 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment to really make you pare down on all the baby gear that is advertised!)
However, since I pay for my flexibility in the lack of benefits afforded to me I have to do my best to make this maternity leave as budget friendly as I can! I originally wanted to “cash-flow” this maternity leave by saving up a separate “maternity fund”. But I may have to not only deep into our emergency fund but also possibly go into credit card debt as well. This is the reality for many, many families, especially in the U.S where non-paid maternity leave is all too common. I am one of many mothers trying to balance my own needs with my financial circumstances when it comes to maternity and motherhood.
We were hoping to have a lot more money saved for this baby but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
We had a lot of unexpected expenses come up (read here about my oven saga) and unfortunately this pregnancy really knocked me off my feet! So all that overtime I planned on working and stocking away was really a very little amount of overtime that I managed to work. Note to self: Do not plan on overtime hours to pay for something. You never know if it will pan out!
Since this is my third kid, I did not need to buy any major baby purchases. I already have a stroller, crib and car seat. So hurray for that! I also have a plethora of baby toys, cloth diapers, blankets, clothes etc so my baby expenses will be very low.
There are still a lot of expenses that come with a baby and expenses that come with me being out of commission while on leave. My husband more than pulls his weight but.., he is one person so there is a limit to what he can do.