Special to the Financial Independence Hub
Being on maternity ‒ or paternity leave ‒ usually means you’re taking a pay cut, and that can leave you feeling perpetually broke.
Not only are you bringing in a smaller income each month, but you’re also shelling out for baby items you never had to buy before. Despite the crunch, many parents also struggle with the temptation to shop more than usual since they have extra time to spend wandering around the malls or browsing online.
However with some effort, it’s possible to get through maternity leave with your finances ‒ and your sanity! ‒ intact.
Saving money can be kind of fun if you make a game out of seeing how much you can save ‒ and then trying to beat your own record.
1.) Get your thrift on
Babies outgrow their clothes very quickly, and secondhand items are usually in nearly-new condition because they’re hardly worn.
So why not plan an outing at the thrift store, meet up with a friend (who’s also on mat leave) and dig through the bins and racks together.
2.) Try couponing
Even if you’ve never clipped a coupon in your life, there’s no better time to learn.
Pssst. Babies also come with some handy freebies if you know where to look.
3.) Trim the budget
Sit down and look at where your spending could be tightened, and decide on a goal that’s going to help you spend less each month.
If you’re overspending on groceries ‒ after all, you are home all of the time now ‒ maybe you can set a strict budget and really stick to it.
If you’re visiting the coffee shop a little too often, make the effort to bring a hot drink in a travel mug when you head out the door.
Look for free fun
It might feel like every activity costs money, but there are so many ways to get out that are absolutely free.
4.) Take a walk
Walking is a great way to explore new neighbourhoods, get some exercise, and lower your stress levels by breathing in the fresh air.
Babies also enjoy going for walks, and usually the movement lulls them to sleep. If it’s too cold or rainy to walk outside, look for an indoor track. Often it’s free for people from the community to use, and you can bring the baby in their stroller.
5.) Try something new
Most gyms and fitness centres offer a trial membership, whether it’s a day pass or even a full week. By expressing interest in maybe joining their facility, you can get the chance to try out their equipment, sweat through a cardio class, and take a shower in peace.
Bonus points if you find a place that offers free daycare for your little one!
6.) Join a group Continue Reading…