Before I found out that I was pregnant, I had 2019 all planned out and themed the year I will become debt free. Then found out I was pregnant and then the reality of dealing with unpaid maternity leave hit me right in the face.
Lucky are those who get paid something during maternity leave, unfortunately, that is not the case for me.
I had to jump into saving mode for bills and buying baby supplies. Of course, I will be able to claim for UIF (unemployment Fund) but that is pocket change, compared to a full paycheque.
What do you do when you are hit with the reality of dealing with unpaid maternity leave?
Save as much as you can
You can prepare by saving as much of your paycheque as possible for bills. You need to look at your debt orders and calculate how much they are every month and how much you need to have saved to cover for the months that you won’t be getting a paycheque.
This includes your life insurance, funeral cover, car insurance, debt instalment, rent or bond and many more.
Cool of period
Find out from your service providers if they don’t give you the cooling off period, while you still enjoy the full coverage of the service you are paying for. Some service providers offer a cooling off period for up to 4 months. Take advantage of that and use it to your benefit.
Claim from the Unemployment Fund
If your pay UIF then you find out if you qualify for the maternity benefits and apply at your nearest Dept of Labour.
By becoming frugal I mean cancelling any guilty pleasures subscriptions and things that are just guilty pleasures not needs to save more money. Buy things on sale and in bulk only the necessity.
Get a side hustle
If you can get some side hustle to make extra money to put into your savings account, because you have no idea when the UIF will pay you after you have your baby and give the necessary documents.
Being pregnant is both exciting and scary at the same time. You will spend most of the nights lying awake wondering how you going to financially survive and worry about what could go wrong with the pregnancy.
On top of all the pregnancy symptoms, you will get anxiety. Let’s face it when I had my daughter 10 years ago things were not this expensive and but then I had no debt in my name.