12 Tips to Survive Parental Leave Without Going Broke
Having a baby is exciting!
The bills that come with your bundle of joy? Not so much.
To make matters worse, many parents lose some or all of their income when they take time off work to care for their wee one.
A new report by Pew Research sheds some light on just how much of a strain parental leave puts on the household budget.
Around six out of every 10 workers (57%) with household incomes under $30,000 don’t receive their full pay when taking parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Of course, their bills didn’t magically go away, so the money to pay them had to come from somewhere.
- 48% turned to public assistance
- 46% put off paying their bills
- 45% borrowed money from family or friends
- 37% cut their leave time short
These solutions aren’t exactly ideal.
12 Ways To Survive Parental Leave Without Going Broke
In an ideal world, new parents wouldn’t have to choose between staying home with a new child or paying the bills.
Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for a lot of people.
Here are 12 ways to get by on a reduced income while enjoying parental leave for as long as possible.
- Check out how this family saved over $3,000 on baby items and essentials.
- Breastfeeding moms can save money on nursing bras, tank tops and even nursing-friendly formal wear by getting creative.
- Families who feed their baby formula can save a few dollars without switching to generic brands.
- When your tot graduates to solids, consider making your own baby food to save a bundle.
- All babies need diapers (so many diapers!). Here’s all kinds of ways to score some for free.
- Make your own baby wipes to use with your stash of free diapers and save $250 a year.
- Snag a free Baby Magic Bath Kit to make bathtime more fun.
- Stay away from these baby supplies that parents say aren’t worth the money.
- Signing up for a free baby registry at Target nets you all kinds of free stuff.
- Network with other parents in your area to trade or borrow baby gear and clothing.
- Grab a free subscription to American Baby for the latest in parenting and pregnancy tips.
- If you’re the type who likes to plan ahead, get a job at a company with solid parental leave benefits so you’re all set when your baby dreams become a reality.
Your turn: What’s your best tip for saving money when there’s a new baby in the house?
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves seeing new baby pictures — both human and furkids. Share them with her on Twitter @lisah.