As you're prepping for maternity leave, you may start to realize you want to take more time than you initially planned. If you're company's open to allowing you more time off after baby comes, but it's unpaid, then you need to explore ways to save money to have a longer maternity leave. Having this in place before you give birth will allow you to enjoy your leave without the added stress of wondering about your finances. Securing the time and money in advance will set you up for a maternity leave that is all about you soaking up tons of sweet baby snuggles.
The reason many people fail to save is because they lose sight of their goal. As Reader's Digest pointed out, remembering why you want to save money can help you stay motivated and on track. This means whenever you feel the urge to splurge on a latte, picturing your sweet baby's face in your mind will help you keep that money in the bank, and let you be able to stay on maternity leave longer. Using regular reminders of why you're cutting back will help you go the distance in your saving goals.
As you round the corner to giving birth, start implementing these 11 ways to save money to have a longer maternity leave, and feel prepared by the time the baby arrives.
1. Open A Special Savings Account
Start dropping extra dollars into an account as your prepare for your maternity leave. According to Parents magazine, starting this while you're still working is easy, because you can have your paycheck deposited straight into this new account. This money will help you stretch that leave for longer once the baby is here.
2. Get A Side Gig
One way to help save for your time off is to bring in some extra bucks on the side. As Forbes magazine pointed out, making extra money before the baby comes is a smart financial choice for women who are trying to save up.
3. Trim The Fat
Taking a critical eye to your spending may not be easy, but it can help you see places where you can cut back. Refinery 29 recommended using a budget workbook to track your monthly spending, then deciding what can stay, what can go, and what can be slashed to a smaller number.
4. Work Out At Home
According to CNBC's website, the average gym membership cost $40 to $50 per month. While you're on maternity leave, cancel or freeze your gym membership and try working out at home, for free.
5. Bulk Up
Have a friend who's expecting around the same time as you? Consider going dutch on bulk items, as recommended by the Martha Stewart website. This will allow you to load up on essentials while not letting anything go to waste (and for half the price). I say, go crazy on diapers — you're going to need them!
6. Shop & Sell At Consignment
One way I saved money when my kids were babies was by shopping at consignment shops and sales. I would also sell toys and items we no longer used as well as clothes they grew out of. This helped me save and make a little money at the same time.
7. Get Creative With Your Entertainment
With concerts, dinners, and movie nights, it's easy to drop some cash on entertainment. But America Saves website suggested searching for free or inexpensive entertainment options in your area, as well as borrow books and cutting out premium cable channels.
8. Cook At Home
Whenever my finances get tight, the first thing I cut is meals out. Even a bagel and coffee here and there can add up. Gathering wallet friendly recipes from sites like Budget Bytes help you plan delicious meals that wont' break the bank.
9. Negotiate With Work
Getting your employer to extend a flexible work schedule may be more possible than you believe. According to Working Mother magazine, negotiating a work from home situation with your boss is worth a try, and you may be surprised by the positive response. This could allow you to work a little bit — when you're able — and help to bring in some extra dolla dolla bills, y'all.
10. Lose The Name Brands
I know you only want the best for your baby, but buying store brands can help you save. As Real Simple pointed out, purchasing generic brands of products can lead to significant savings, especially when it comes to food and household products. Typically most of the ingredients are the same, even though the price is different.
11. Be Strict
If any plan is going to be successful, you have to hold yourself accountable. Making a plan and sticking to it is the best way to guarantee the results you desire.