Last Reviewed: April 2017
Handling a Reduced Income
- Losing 45% of your weekly income while on maternity leave can be challenging – prepare for it.
- Having a baby means having to manage on less money.
- Reducing unnecessary expenses before you try to conceive can help you manage.
- Buying items your baby will really need, not what you think he or she needs can help you keep your costs down.
Having a baby is a time of happiness, especially if you’re not worrying about your financial circumstances.
In Canada, most new mothers lose 45% of their income while on maternity leave. At the same time, their expenses can rise to nearly $200 per month on diapers, food and other products for baby.
A new mother on maternity leave in Canada — who was working for an employer — is entitled to be paid only 55% of the income she earned before giving birth.
This amount is capped at a maximum of $413/week.
Tips for Managing On Less Money
How you manage your reduced income will depend on your budget and individual situation. Here are some helpful suggestions.
- Develop a budget and stick to it. Chart your expenses, then prepare a tentative financial plan for handling a reduced income while you, your partner, or both of you are away from work.
- Learn all you can about breastfeeding. You will find that breastfeeding is cheaper for you and healthy for you and your baby.
- Make lifestyle changes before you start trying to conceive. Try to reduce unnecessary expenses and save the extra money for buying things for your baby.
- Buy what your baby really needs and not what you think he or she needs. Watch the influence of advertisers; for example, an approved infant car seat is mandatory in the province of Ontario, but an infant swing is not.
- Be cautious when buying baby equipment from garage sales. There may be safety concerns.
- Accept hand-me-down clothing and shop at second-hand stores.