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iwiamandaiwi 10-18-2012 01:05 PM

maternity leave
so here is my conundrum. By the time I have this baby i will have about a month of leave saved up. I have taken six weeks off with both of my other kids so if i stick to that then i have to take two weeks off unpaid. That would cost us about 1400. not too much of a deal, easily doable since we have been saving up a bit of money lately. The problem I am having here is that I've always felt like six weeks was just not long enough. This is our last baby and I REALLY want to take the max 12wks that I am allowed by the FMLA. I would have to take EIGHT of those weeks unpaid and it would cost us around 5500. that is a lot more difficult not to notice a loss of 5500. I am pretty sure that we could adjust and make it through but I just don't know if it is the right choice. Things would be a lot tighter than we are used to and while I am ok with that because I feel it would be worth it to spend that time with our new child as well as qt with my sons, I am afraid that dh will be upset at the lost wages. I have already brought it up to him a few times and he doesnt really want to talk about it. he gets easily stressed and if i press the issue then it will turn into a fight and that is the last thing I want. so anyways, what would you ladies do? would you take the pay cut and just tighten your belt a bit regardless of how hubby feels?

rumblepurr 10-18-2012 02:37 PM

Re: maternity leave
How much would you be saving with your kids not in daycare, and in traveling back and forth to work? If you can work out how much you guys can cut back from now until you give birth and how much you would save staying at home outlined in a spreadsheet, then he might not be so stressed out about how things are going to work. Talking about how things will or will not add up is very different than seeing it on paper. I can see cutting quite a few things in the next 6+ months that might give you more padding during your FMLA. As you may already know, the thrifty forum here has some great ladies who know how to cut budgets down.

Personally, I would get everything lined out on paper, until I could prove that I would be saving more money than losing money by taking the extended leave. You can't argue against that. This might mean: living very frugally, carpooling, lowering cc interest, refinancing house or moving to a cheaper rental, smaller birthdays and Christmases, selling a vehicle your making payments on and buying a cheaper one fully paid off, etc. Thrifty forum is great for advice.

Also the proof is in the pudding. If he is the type that has to see it to believe it, you might have to live frugally for a month or two, to prove that you can do it as a family, and see the savings. He might also fear that if you guys can make it work, you won't want to return to working outside of the home for even longer. Guys can have extreme fears sometimes and understanding what he's really afraid of will give you an edge in convincing him to go for it.

When you're working out the budget, some things will go up when you stay at home: utilities, like electric and water, and often fun things you do with the kids, like the zoo and stuff. So, keep in mind that there are other hidden expenses. Also, based on your siggy, you will have 3 at home in the summer. You would have been paying for daycare, I'm assuming, for all three if you were working. That has got to add up to some serious savings by keeping them at home with you. Will you be doing any summer camps for your eldest or any other summer activities that would cost money? Remember to add them in the budget.


deely 10-19-2012 08:45 AM

I totally understand! This is the same situation we're in. I took 12 weeks with my daughter and with this baby I'm taking the max, which is 16 (12 of which are unpaid, the other 4 are paid at 70%). We basically have our finances under really good control and once we're out of the first trimester (when everything goes out the window due to me being sick plus having to have some work done on our house) we just focus completely on putting money away. Like, that is seriously all we do. First my husband and I sit down and talk about it, why its important, how much of a priority it is, ideas for how to do it, how much money we think we'll need, ect. Then I do some spreadsheets and some math, and then we figure out how much we have to save every month. If we're coming up short, we start getting creative and figuring out other ways to cut back that maybe we didn't notice before. We have no high interest debt, so the debt we do have, we just pay the minimum until after I go back to work. And if we find at 10 or 12 weeks postpartum that we don't have enough, we will take a loan from my 401k. But that is our back up plan, just in case something goes wrong

When I brought this up with my husband the first time around, I didn't talk about the loss of money first. I talked about how wonderful it would be for me to be home and how good it would be for the baby, ect.

Oh, and my daughter is not in daycare, so the only money we actually save by me not working is the gas to drive to work. But I found that since I go out to avoid getting stir crazy, we spent about the same on gas.

MommaLEB 10-19-2012 04:17 PM

Re: maternity leave
Are you able to go back to work part time in the beginning? I have no paid leave so I'll be going back part time at four weeks I'm sure.

iwiamandaiwi 10-22-2012 09:17 AM

Re: maternity leave
no, i cant do part time. it's either full time or nthing

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