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Thursday, May 22, 2014
How You can Manage your Finances during Maternity Leave
I would love to share with my readers on this tips which i got from forbes..
"A family’s first months with new baby are normally a wonderful time. But to ensure you’re able to focus your attention on your bundle of joy, you need to plan for the financial reality of a maternity leave.
Fortunately, with a little planning, education and some trustworthy guidance, you can take the time you need with your newest family member without sacrificing your financial security. These seven tips can help you set a course for financial security during your baby’s crucial first months.
1. Start Planning as Soon as Possible. Whether you’re preparing to start a family or facing an unexpected pregnancy, you should start financial planning right away. Examine your finances and make a budget based on your family’s income with—and without—any compensation during maternity leave. You may have to cut back in some areas of spending, but knowing your situation and having a plan ahead of time can mean the difference between a manageable maternity leave and a financial crisis.
2. Save Aggressively. This is part of the planning process, but it’s so important that it warrants its own recommendation. If you’re planning to have a child, start saving for more than just expected expenses. Consider starting a savings account dedicated to financing your maternity leave. Set a savings goal based on your budget and financial needs. Ideally, this would cover some or even all of your expenses during the maternity leave period. That may not be a realistic goal for everyone, but every little bit helps.
3. Know What Your Company Offers. Does your company offer paid maternity leave? Does it provide any additional benefits or support during maternity leave? These questions—and plenty more—can be answered by your Human Resources team and your supervisor. Making assumptions can be dangerous
4. Discuss Your Options with Your Employer. In addition to determining just what coverage your employer offers, you should also explore options that would allow you to work a limited but flexible schedule. Working remotely is an increasingly common option open to new and expecting mothers, so be sure to inquire whether it’s possible for you, either part- or full-time during your maternity leave. Additionally, you may be able to use sick leave, personal or vacation days during maternity leave, allowing you to continue earning your normal salary.
5. Determine if You Qualify for FMLA. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of leave for employees who need to tend to family health issues such as maternity or a sick spouse or child. The act protects employees from losing their jobs during the leave period, but it doesn’t require employers to provide compensation.
To be covered by FMLA:
Your employer must have at least 50 employees.
You must have worked there for at least 12 months.
You must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last year, or about 24 hours a week.(not sure if same applies to where you are)
6. Understand Your Short-Term Disability Insurance Options. Short-term disability insurance (STDI) can be a critical asset during pregnancy and maternity leave. This type of insurance pays a portion of your salary in the event of a medically related absence from work.If not available through your employer, coverage may be available through another insurance provider.(not sure if this applies tto where you are)
7. Explore Additional Income Opportunities. If possible, explore ways to supplement your normal income before your child is born. One great option for new mothers is freelancing: You can determine how much or how little you’d like to work and make your own schedule while staying home with your child. Consulting can be another option with similar benefits, though it’s likely that you’ll have to be on-site at clients’ offices occasionally.
There’s a lot to consider when planning for this major life change, but you don’t have to go it alone. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help you build a budget and stick to it. Also, consider joining or starting a group for expecting mothers, either locally or online. With the right support and guidance, you can develop a plan that will let you make the most of maternity leave without making a mess of your finances.