Maternity leaves are essential for bonding and healing. You get to completely ignore your job for 6-8 weeks and look like Cruella De Ville without being judged.
It’s great, minus the sleep deprivation, but if you don’t have money saved you’ll be begging to go back to work.
I was part-time when I had my firstborn, and I went the whole six five weeks without a paycheck. Imagine having medical bills and no income when you’re a young first-time mom. Complete meltdown!
Although I had a C-section, I was forced to go back to work early. With baby #2, I was prepared to not go down that route again. I qualified for short-term disability (AFTER I used all PTO), and managed to save up more than $3000 to fill in the gaps.
You don’t have to make a ton of money to do this. I saved on one income—a low one at that. Check out these tips to learn how you can save money for maternity leave!
Sell your heart out
If you have things lying around the house that you can stand to live without, then it’s time to wave bye-bye. Selling what you already have is one of the easiest ways to make extra money fast.
Even if you think something is junk, there’s a good chance it will still get sold.
During my pregnancy, I got rid of everything I could get my hands on. If it didn’t serve me any purpose, it had to go because baby was coming and mama was low on cash!
The process was pretty darn simple. All I had to do was take a few pictures, make an ad, and wait for an offer. I find that selling on eBay is easiest for me, but you can also look into selling on Amazon, Facebook, and/or Craigslist.
If selling one item at a time doesn’t sound enticing, host one big yard sale and deposit your profit into a savings account.
Things to sell:
Old games and toys
Get your hustle on
When you’re pregnant, all you want to do is lounge around but obviously, those 9 months are vital for establishing your savings. Wrap that belly belt tight and take on some extra work outside of your day job!
This does not mean that you have to clock in at a part-time gig. You can find other ways to bring in extra money that fit your schedule and interests.
Determine what you’re good at and how you can turn that into a profit. For me, this was picking up writing assignments as a freelance writer.
Now, I won’t lie, some nights I would be on the brink of tears. I just wanted to sleep, but not having to stress about finances was so worth it in the end.
Side hustles to consider:
Blogging. It’s crazy to think that simply sharing your written words with the world can be a lucrative hobby and maybe even allow you to leave your day job, but it can! You can get started for just $3.95, which is less than a cup of coffee.
You’ll have plenty of time to write when the baby is down for a nap.
Freelance writer. If you’re good at writing, then look into freelance writing opportunities.
A freelance writer is basically just a writer who works on a self-employed basis. I freelanced for a site called Writer4hire.org and made up to $400 a month in extra cash!
Selling crafts. If you love to get crafty, then turn your creations into a profit! Consider selling your crafts to those closeby in your area or set up an online account with Etsy or Shopify.
Babysitting. It’s a little ironic to want to care for other kids while you’re preparing for your own, but babysitting can be a rewarding side hustle.
You can find opportunities through regular job boards or sites like Care.com.
Flipping items. I love a good DIY project. When you have extra time on your hands to fix up old items, then you’ve got yourself a side hustle.
Dog sitting. I never even knew dog sitting was a thing until I met my former coworker. If you love dogs, then consider finding paid opportunities to care for them while their owners are away.
Become a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is someone who provides services, such as managing social media accounts, for those needing a little extra assistance. Bloggers, small business owners, etc. often assign tasks to a VA. Most will work remote which is perfect if you have a day job or you just don’t have the ability to leave the house.
If you’re looking for more flexible side hustles I’ve compiled 20 of the best ones in my Money. Boss. Hustles eBook! Check it out here.
Give up your incentives/bonuses
If you receive incentives and/or bonuses from your employer, retrain your mind to see them as opportunities to save money for maternity leave versus spendable income.
Ditch the new pair of shoes and put the extra money into your savings. You normally survive without the extra cash so this shouldn’t be that painful to do.
At my previous day job, we got quarterly incentives based on our performance. I would calculate how much extra money was added to my paycheck, and move that amount to my maternity savings fund.
Around 40% of my savings was due to the incentives I had received which helped to cut down on the extra work I had to put in.
Posts to read next:
- 9 Common Money Mistakes New Moms Will Regret Making
- Simple Lifestyle Changes Moms Can Make to Save Thousands – Without Feeling Deprived!
- The “Broke” Girl’s Guide to Saving Money
- Save or Pay off Debt? Here’s Which Makes the Most Sense for Your Journey.
- 7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score 100 Points in One Year
- 10 Cheap Girl’s Night Out Ideas for the Best Night Ever!
- 4 Crazy Simple Ways to Reduce Monthly Expenses – I Found an Extra $350!
- 5 Painless Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt on a Low Income
- How to Negotiate a Salary as a Beginner– and Win as a Woman!
- 6 No-Fail Tips to Help You Save Money as a Single Mom!
- What is a 401k Plan? – How it Works (for the Utterly Confused!)
Save small amounts
Trying to save money when you’re already low on cash is difficult. Instead of trying to give up most of your paycheck, contribute small amounts.
Anything is better than nothing, and small contributions can add up quickly over time.
I’ll admit that sometimes I could only afford to add $50 out of a few paychecks. When you try to save too much too soon you’ll wind up pulling from your other financial obligations, thus creating debt. If you’re a saving newbie, I highly suggest signing up for my free online course here!
To be able to save more money for maternity leave, consider switching plans. I used to pay for an unlimited data plan when I barely used the data.
Over $100 was being thrown down the drain, so I made the switch to prepaid. Doing this freed up an extra $55 a month. That’s $660 that I’m saving a year!
Determine what plans you’re paying for that are a little on the high side and search for cheaper options. Can you remove a feature to bring down the price?
In addition to this, call your service providers to negotiate lower payments. I decided to give this a go with my internet/cable, and to my surprise, they enrolled me in a special plan that’s now saving me $30 a month.
Cancel plans and memberships
Being a parent means that you have to make sacrifices. Sorry, Charlie.
If you’re falling short on money, comb through your budget to see what expenses you can do without. Even if you think a payment is a good deal, those ‘good deals’ still add up over time.
For example, if you’re paying $20 a month for a gym membership then that’s $240 a year.
When you’re stressed out about having enough money to hold you over during your maternity leave, that $20 can seem more like $100.
Hang out at the house
When you’re out and about, you’re more likely to spend money because temptation is staring you right in the face. Although a good time doesn’t have to cost anything, chances are you’re going to open up your wallet at least once.
That being said, try hanging out at the house. There’s nothing on a shelf with a price tag begging you to buy it (hopefully) when you’re at home.
Morning sickness forced me to stay put during my pregnancy, which saved me a lot of money by default. If you’re suffering from a queasy stomach, look on the bright side. Your gas hand will rarely move, and there won’t be an abundance of transactions waiting to post to your account.
Believe me when I say that your wallet will thank you later.
Continue paying down debt
Don’t let your pregnancy completely halt your journey to financial freedom. You should definitely save money for maternity leave, but remember not to completely neglect any debt you may have.
As you pay down debt, your spendable income increases, thus giving you more money to work with. In under 4 years, I’ve paid off over $30,000 in debt and let me just tell you that I have way more money to work with than I did in the beginning!
Getting rid of your debt is like giving yourself a raise without actually getting a raise. Less payments equals less money you have to give up! If you’re serious about dumping debt, check out my free debt payoff course here.
What tips do you have to save money for maternity leave?!