Written by Janine Rogan
Thursday, September 10th, 2020
Five days into COVID-19, my husband and I found ourselves with a positive pregnancy test.
Distancing measures had just started in our province, and although we had absolutely no idea what to expect when it came to being first-time parents, adding COVID-19 into the mix wasn't really what we signed up for.
Life has changed for us: mentally, emotionally and financially. If 2020 is going to mean less income for us, all while adding another member of our family, it means we're going to have to get smart when it comes to saving for a baby.
3 Things We're Doing to Financially Prepare for Our Baby
1. Saving For Our Respective Maternity and Parental Leaves
Both of us plan to take time off during the baby's first year, and although we haven't quite figured out how we're going to divvy it up, it's no secret that $2,000 a month isn't very much money to live on.
Stashing away extra money from every paycheque into a savings account earmarked for costs associated with pregnancy and a new baby, and building a parental leave fund, will help us bridge the gap between the top-up I'll receive through my employer for 12 weeks and the EI benefits we're both entitled to while on leave.
2. No Baby Moon
It's become pretty common for couples to jet off on vacation before the arrival of their baby, and originally we were planning to do the same thing. We were weeks away from booking a fall trip to Italy before travel restrictions were put in place.
Not taking a baby moon, or keeping the travel within driving range, is going to be a huge way for us to save money over the next couple of months. What would have probably cost us thousands of dollars will now pad our parental leave fund. We hope to eventually travel with our baby, though, so we can start saving for that as well.
3. Purchasing Things Secondhand
Children, especially infants, grow so fast, and their wardrobe can get expensive. Not to mention that maternity clothing is pricey, with single pieces sometimes costing over $50.
I haven't had to buy too many maternity pieces, because I'm working from home now, but the baby's entire wardrobe has been built through secondhand purchases and hand-me-downs. Facebook Marketplace, friends, family, and local secondhand shops are places I've been frequenting to save money on the baby's wardrobe.
Many of my local secondhand shops have incredibly gently used items often coming in at $1 or $2 for each item as opposed to $10 or $20 for a single onesie. Being home all the time and not travelling for work also means I have more time to find these local deals.
Aligning Our Finances
While COVID-19 has been a negative in many ways, it has also allowed us to better align our finances and prepare for the new addition to our family.