Congrats! I hear you’ve got a new baby on the way. You must be very excited. Or maybe you’re a little a’feared. After all, this is another mouth to feed. And nobody gets rich on mat leave, right? So what an expecting parent to do? Might I suggest you figure out how to save a little sumthin’ sumthin’ before your Mini-Me makes an appearance.
1. Save to supplement your mat leave benefits. The standard maternity benefits leave very little wiggle room. If you aren’t going to get a top-up from your employer, you might want to start practicing living on less as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Use the difference between your regular pay and your mat leave income to build up your emergency fund and your Baby’s Coming account. Practicing living on less now means you can get a sense of what it’ll be like when baby gets here. And you’ll have some money for any unexpected expenses that pop up.
2. Save on your baby stuff by shopping smart, borrowing and making do. Babies are a great excuse to spend money. But do you really need a wipe warmer? Hey, just hold the wipe in your hand for a few seconds before using it and you’ve got a warm wipe for baby’s bootie. You’ll save about thirty bucks. How about a change table? Buy a stack of receiving blankets. Lay one out on your bed, the couch or the carpet to change the baby. Savings: $200. Make sure you make a list before you head out to shop for baby. And before you put your hand in your pocket, call your friends and family to find out who has stuff they can lend you so you can whittle down your list. Make sure you register if someone is throwing you a shower so you get stuff you need, not just stuff other people think is cute.
3. As soon as baby is born, get baby a SIN card and open up an RESP. Now you have a place to put the money people give for presents, and you can stash away $50 or $100 a month (to begin with) for university or college. Believe me, that’ll be way easier than coming up with the thousands and thousands (and thousands) you’ll need when your kidlet heads off to the halls of higher learning. The Canada Education Savings Grant will help, but that’s another blog.