Being single can be a great experience, but being pregnant and single can be overwhelming. I am almost 17 weeks pregnant, single, and only make a part time minimum wage. I will not have any income coming in during my maternity leave, but I want to spend as much time with my baby as I can. Even though I tend to worry from time to time, I have learned a few things about financially preparing for maternity leave when single.
Start Planning as Soon as You Can:
As soon as I learned that I was pregnant I began to worry. After I worried for a little while, I began to plan. This plan was for everything financially and otherwise. Since I am single I am the one making the decisions, and hold the majority of the financial burdens. To take care of all of things, I have to make a plan.
Know What You Will Need Before Taking Maternity Leave:
In order to plan accurately you will need to know what you will need. Even though you are on maternity leave you will still have to pay your bills, buy things for the baby, and have money for everyday items. Make a list of everything as accurately as possible so you can make calculations to determine what you will need before taking maternity leave.
Cut Cost Wherever You Can:
Sit down and through everything that you spend; gas, food, rent, utilities, phone, and everyday spending. Avoid taking guesses at these numbers; you want accurate figures to see where you can cut costs. Look at it all very closely and determine what you can cut. I have learned that even cutting out $40 can help me prepare for maternity leave. I currently have 23 weeks left, which will give me over $900 to cover things during my maternity leave.
You can cut costs by:
-Checking for lower rate on insurance
-Checking for lower rates or eliminating cable channels and phone services
-Reducing the amount you go out to eat
-Reducing or cutting out on purchasing coffee or sodas (We aren’t supposed to have a lot of either anyway)
-Much, much more…
Increase Your Income If You Can:
Increasing your income can be possible even when you are single; you can work a few extra hours at work, find things to sell that you do not need, or find other ways to make an extra income. I write articles, take surveys, and read emails to make a little extra.
Begin to Purchase Things before you take maternity leave:
There is probably a lot of things that you already know that you will need before maternity leave, start purchasing a little at a time. Make a list of things that you need, and start purchasing them. Purchase things like diapers, wipes, some clothing, canned goods, some other groceries, toiletries, and much more. You can spend $20 a week on things you know you will need, and avoid having to spend a large lump sum at one time.
Start Saving Money for Maternity Leave:
Start a savings account and start stashing money away when you can. I started a simple, free savings account that I am using only for preparing for maternity leave. I have also started a box where I put a couple of dollars in when I am able. Just in the last few weeks I have already stashed away more than $40 just by putting a dollar or two away when I can. I have also been putting away change that I will count up closer to my maternity leave.
Take Advantage of Government Assistance:
The government actually offers a lot of things for expecting single mothers. Find out what services they have. I personally am taking advantage of WIC, and hopefully food stamps for a little while after the baby is born. There are also quite a few other services that may be available to you during maternity leave, and after.