Hey baby, can you spot me a $20?

14 March 2017 by

During the final weeks of a year-long parental leave, you’ll receive 55% of your normal salary. Have you thought about that? You should.

Sweet, sweet parental leave. $4 lattés with other new moms and dads. Parent and baby yoga classes at $20 a session. Wandering through the mall with your stroller—trying to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter—and somehow leaving with $300 of new clothes. Lots of fun at the start, but in the long run it can be hard on the wallet.

If you choose a nine-month leave you’ll still earn 75% of your salary in the final stretch, which isn't that bad. But watch out if you elect to take an entire year off with baby; for the last 25 weeks you’ll have to get by on 55% of your normal paycheck. And that’s not much. At all.

No need to hyperventilate. With a few small changes to your routine—and we’re talking changes here, not deprivation—you’ll get through it.

Soup kitchen

No one blames you for not wanting to start cutting coupons. There are other ways to save on your grocery bill. First tip: buy bulk. Second tip: get together with your friends and make 40 cans of spaghetti sauce, 22 chicken pot pies, and 11 litres of vegetable soup. It's a blast, and it's cheap. The best part is that when you're too exhausted to cook, just open the freezer and… bon appétit.

Pre-loved stuff

Try to find a Facebook group entitled “(Insert your city) Parents” or “(Insert your neighbourhood) Flea-Market.” These groups can be gold mines for second-hand treasures. Everything imaginable for baby is up for grabs: clothes, toys, change tables, sippy-cups, you name it. Things sell for peanuts, if not free, and as an added bonus, used objects are just as good for the environment as they are for your wallet.

It’s free!

Why pay for baby aquafitness classes when you can take your mini-me swimming for free at the local pool? Why buy maternity books when you can borrow them from the library? Your gym membership can be replaced by a jog in the park in summer and YouTube aerobic work-out classes in winter (guaranteed hilarity for the latter). More of an artsy type? Lots of cities offer free cultural activities which are specifically designated as baby-friendly. So the next time you receive the neighbourhood newsletter, try reading it instead of dropping it right in the recycling bin.

Spoil yourself

Does the sight of a bottle induce panic attacks? Do you get the impression that everyone else's baby sleeps 12 hours straight and farts like roses? You need a break. Spoil yourself, it doesn't take much. Leave the baby with your parents or a friend and recharge your batteries. Go for a nice meal at a reasonably-priced local restaurant, take a long walk in the park, spend an entire night binge-watching movies, or just sleep. SLEEP. Sleeping is free, and it works wonders.

Legal disclaimer

Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of National Bank of Canada.

The articles and information on this website are protected by the copyright laws in effect in Canada or other countries, as applicable. The copyrights on the articles and information belong to the National Bank of Canada or other persons. Any reproduction, redistribution, electronic communication, including indirectly via a hyperlink, in whole or in part, of these articles and information and any other use thereof that is not explicitly authorized is prohibited without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

The contents of this website must not be interpreted, considered or used as if it were financial, legal, fiscal, or other advice. National Bank and its partners in contents will not be liable for any damages that you may incur from such use.

This article is provided by National Bank, its subsidiaries and group entities for information purposes only, and creates no legal or contractual obligation for National Bank, its subsidiaries and group entities. The details of this service offering and the conditions herein are subject to change.

The hyperlinks in this article may redirect to external websites not administered by National Bank. The Bank cannot be held liable for the content of external websites or any damages caused by their use.

Views expressed in this article are those of the person being interviewed. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Bank or its subsidiaries. For financial or business advice, please consult your National Bank advisor, financial planner or an industry professional (e.g., accountant, tax specialist or lawyer).