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Having a child is the most amazing thing you’ll experience in your life. There is nothing in this world you will love more than your kids and you will cherish every moment you spend with them, especially in the beginning.
Apart from recovering from birth during maternity leave, this will be a time when you will get to spend most of your time with your baby. Unfortunately, you may have to cope with reduced salary during this time. This can be quite challenging if you don’t have a proper plan set up.
If you’re currently just planning on having kids, it’s best you work out your post-baby budget right away. Set aside more money than you plan on spending since you’ll surely have certain unexpected baby expenses.
No matter how much money you end up having to cover you during maternity leave, you should spend it wisely and try to save as much as possible. Here are 5 great ways to do just that.
1. Search for Baby Bargains
Your baby is going to need a lot of food, diapers, wipes, and many other products. Instead of buying new supplies every week you should look for deals on these products and buy in bulk when you can.
Amazon, for example, offers a discount on diapers. which is great on the finances as well as makes it easy to get them home. In fact, their 30-day FREE trial includes 20% savings on diaper subscriptions and FREE 2-day shipping. Let me tell you, 2-day shipping is a game changer! When buying baby supplies in larger quantities, it may feel like a lot to spend at once, but it will actually help you save money in the long run.
2. Make Money on the Side
Just because you’re recovering from giving birth and don’t plan on going back to work at least for a couple of months doesn’t mean you can’t make some money on the side.
In fact, you can even work from the comfort of your own home as a freelancer. There are countless jobs you can find online that will help you live more comfortably and the best part is that you can decide how much you’re going to work.
Just be sure whatever work you do from home doesn’t impact your maternity leave pay negatively. If you are looking for side hustle ideas, try these:
- 5 Side Hustle Ideas for Single Moms (they work if you aren’t single too!)
3. Don’t Neglect “Adult Time”
Spending time with your baby will be a wonderful experience. Nevertheless, you’ll still need the company of other people. The thing is, you want to make sure your adult social experiences are as frugal as possible when you are receiving reduced pay during your maternity leave.
The first few weeks are the hardest with a new baby in the house. Everybody is adjusting and getting used to the new schedules and sleepless nights. Once you feel comfortable, ask a friend or relative to watch the baby so you can have an hour of “me” time. Maybe even a “date night” with your significant other.
Once you are ready to take the baby outside, a coffee date in the morning with a friend might be nice. In fact, you may just need to simply change the way you catch up with your friends. Instead of going to a bar or restaurant, grab a few cups of coffee and go for a walk. You and the baby get fresh air and you avoid spending cash on unnecessary things.
4. Forget Expensive Stores
Your baby doesn’t need expensive things; it just needs your love, care, and attention. With that being said, you should avoid spending too much money on things like bibs, bed sheets, cots, and baby baths. There is no need in buying expensive versions of these items when you can get them for a much cheaper price at stores like IKEA.
It’s natural to want all the “cool” items for a baby. Honestly, I don’t know how you avoid that feeling. I had it too when my daughter was born and I soon realized I didn’t use half the stuff that I bought or received for her.
5. Ask Your Friends for Practical Gifts
Your friends are going to buy you presents for the baby even if you tell them not to, so you might as well ask them to bring you something practical. Don’t be shy to tell them what would actually be useful to you. They’ll be happy to know they’ve given you something you can actually use.
When you setup a baby registry, consider using Amazon. Whether your friends gift specific items, Amazon gift cards, diapers, onesies or other baby items, you’ll have the convenience of them being delivered right to your doorstep. The last thing you need to worry about when the baby comes is heading out for supplies.
Think outside the box on this one too. Do you have a friend that is a great home chef? Maybe you could ask that he/she make you some freezer meals. Ready-made meals that can go straight from the freezer to the oven will save you time and save money on groceries. After a few sleepless nights from feeding the new baby, you’ll be so glad you asked for this non-traditional gift!
When thinking about saving money during maternity leave, your best bet is, of course, to save money beforehand to compensate for the reduction of income. If it’s too late for that, there are still some ways you can cut costs.
Just remember, in anything that you do, moderation is key. Instead of lunch out with your friends, pack a picnic and take the baby for a walk. See if you can do some side-hustles for extra cash and save money by buying in bulk.
Each little thing, on its own, may not seem like much but they all add up to lessening the burden you have while getting reduced income from Maternity leave.
If you are looking for ways to track spending and stay on budget, check out these related posts:
- Getting Started with Your First Budget
- FREE Printable Expense / Bill Pay Calendar
- Best Groceries to Buy on a Budget
Do you have any money saving tips for new moms? I would love to hear them in the comments below!