Having a baby should be the happiest time in a couple's life. Unfortunately for many families, the birth of a baby, although wonderful, represents a time of great financial stress. Only about one in every seven workers gets paid maternity leave from their company. Women struggle with the financial need to be at work and the emotional need to be with their new baby. Making ends meet while on maternity leave is not easy; here are some tips to make your stay home a little easier.
Making Ends Meet While On Maternity Leave: 5 Tips To Ease The Financial Stress
1. Take advantage of Government Benefits. Always apply for child tax credits, child care benefits, and low income tax breaks. Check your local Government as well; sometimes they offer programs that help new families with making ends meet while on maternity leave. Check your local Employment Insurance office for help with such benefits.
2. Get used to using coupons while on maternity leave. You can actually save quite a bit of money this way if you sign up for mailing lists from your favourite stores. They generally send samples along with money saving coupons. Also check out online sources for coupons such as smartcanucks.ca (Canadian residents), save.ca and the frugalshopper; just Google coupons and there are many sites that come up. Choose your coupons and print them off.
3. You can also get help making ends meet while on maternity leave with your local community resources. Check out second hand stores, local swap meets, freecycle.com, and the YWCA. A great resource to find organizations in your community that help is using kijiji or craigslist. Also ask your church, they usually have a great list of all the local organizations that help families.
4. Something I personally started doing while I was on maternity leave and continue to do today is make good use of the dollar store. If you have never been into the dollar store you have been missing out. You won't find high quality stuff, but what you do find is reasonable and useful. I get everything from kitchen gadgets to household cleaners to my dog's dishes at the dollar store. You won't find everything you want, but for a dollar you will find it easier to compromise on some household items.
5. The best thing I did while on maternity leave was bring in an extra income. Many moms find that being on maternity leave is a perfect time to look into having a home business. It is a great way to making ends meet while on maternity leave and if you end up liking it and making good money you just might find yourself wanting to stay home with your baby. Look for something online; it will be easier since you won't be expected to go out and do home parties or sell face to face. Also look for an opportunity where you will have a mentor to help coach you along the way. You want to be able to start off slow (since you will be very busy with baby!)
An online business is best for making ends meet while on maternity leave because it gives you ultimate flexibility in when you put time in and with how many hours you put in. It also gives you the opportunity to earn while you are learning and create a great income for your family. This is an especially great option for those new moms who really want to be a stay at home mom but couldn't financially afford to do so. With an online home business you can be completely flexible for you and your baby and financially help support your family.