By: Joanna Muir
This post is the second in the series about Maternity leave. You can read the previous post here.
Post-maternity leave finances
Return to work day comes quickly, sometimes by choice and sometimes out of necessity. Either way, your life has permanently changed and there are new responsibilities and money matters to consider. Putting a little thought into this stage now can make a huge difference later!
This knowledge will give you the ability to make choices and develop options for your family’s future. By working through two or three scenarios, you will be fully armed to make informed decisions.
The biggest impact is not the income and expenses that may come when your maternity leave ends and you return to work full time, part time, stay home or some other permutation but the enormity of the child care decisions you will make. They are often unique and based on your work hours, lifestyle, proximity of extended family and many other personal factors.
In the first scenario, you will require child care for your child and the costs for this vary by type of child care and location. Check out a couple places in your area to get an idea of the monthly fees. They can range from $500 to $1200 or up to $2500 if you choose to go with a nanny (the live in option reduces the monthly nanny wage by approximately half if you provide room and board). If you decide to stay at home, then your household must operate on one income only.
It can be valuable to jot down the income and expenses relating to the different scenarios so that you can decide how to set up your household and how you will spend your money.
- Will you stay home, put your child in child care, a combination of both or perhaps you have family who will help? A couple phone calls or conversations with other moms will give you a good idea of the cost of the alternatives.
- Craft a budget that includes any change to your income (if you go part-time or self-employed), your expenses (including any expenses relating to the child) and savings (emergency, education).
It may seem daunting but getting the facts and putting a little thought into a plan now will put you in the driver’s seat to make these decisions and alleviate some of the anxiety around major life changes!
Like any other major life event, it’s worth doing a little planning. It can seem like a bit of a drag to think about the financial impact however a small amount of preparation can make a big difference later on.
About Joanna: She would be behind in planning for her retirement if it wasn’t for a moment in her twenties when she tested a retirement calculator and learned that she needed to be putting away a lot of money now to retire the way she wanted. With that motivation behind her she started learning about about loans and mortgages and bought her first home at twenty-four and hasn’t looked back. You can connect with Joanna at DearPiggyBank.com.