Inside: If you’re a freelancer and pregnant, you are likely wondering how to get maternity leave when self-employed. Read on for tips to help you plan maternity leave for independent contractors.
6 Ways To Plan Maternity Leave Being A Freelancer
Welcome to the freelance life! You are your own boss now! It has enticing upsides like, it offers you a lot of freedom along with flexibility!
You can choose the type of work you will do and at what time of the day! Besides, you can decide whom to collaborate with.
You can make choices that suit your strengths and needs! But let me ask you one thing. Is there anything without pros and cons?
I guess the answer is NO! So, working as a freelancer has ample pros, it has cons too!
And one of the downsides is the lack of paid leaves! Rather, it’s a major downside, isn’t it?
So, when you are going to plan your maternity leave, your steady pay might take a hit!
That’s why you need to plan your maternity wisely, such that it doesn’t hurt your finances! But how will you do so?
Let’s find it out!
Set a maternity leave schedule
As a freelancer, it’s quite normal for you to burn the midnight oil! But your health should be your priority during pregnancy and postnatal period!
I would say, during that time, you should prioritize catnaps than client calls! Follow the advice of your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) and take rest.
Your paycheck might take a hit due to reduced hours of work. But the well-being of you and your baby is way more important!
Talk to your clients
Well, you might think that telling your clients about your maternity leave can have an adverse effect.
The sooner your clients know about your leave, the better they can prepare for your absence.
So, as soon as you feel comfortable sharing your pregnancy with the world, inform your clients about when you are due. Besides, give them a heads up about how long will it take to accept new projects and when you will be back from leave.
This way, you can show courtesy to your clients. And you are thereby helping to create a stronger bond with your clients.
Opt for short-term disability insurance
If you freelance, you aren’t covered by any employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
A very popular and apt health insurance plan for you can be short-term disability insurance.
So, if you are planning a pregnancy in the near future, you can certainly opt for short-term disability insurance.
You need to make payments on the policy for the months or years leading up to having a baby. Once you use the coverage, you will receive the payout. Usually, short-term disability ranges from about 60% to 70% of your income, depending on the policy!
However, make sure that pregnancy is classified as a disability before you opt for a policy! And always remember to buy the insurance policy before you become pregnant. Otherwise, your claims won’t be accepted by your insurer!
Save for your emergency fund
As I said earlier, not getting paid leave is one of the downsides of being a freelancer. That’s why many of the freelancers, expecting a baby, take maternity leave without a cent of paid time off.
But what if you face an emergency during the period of your maternity leave! You may drain out all your savings to bear the cost of a sudden expense(s).
So, you need to be prepared to face any mishap during your maternity leave. And there lies the importance of an emergency fund!
It is a pretty basic principle. You need to save money from your paycheck for your rainy days.
Financial advisors often suggest to keep aside funds of 3 to 6 months of your living expenses.
Let me tell you; it takes a certain amount of time to save such a substantial amount. But make sure you are saving a specific amount for your emergency fund every month!
Review your budget
You are dropping from dual incomes to a single income. So undoubtedly, you have to trim your expenses. Sit down with your partner and jot down where you can trim your expenses in your budget. Everything right from your coffee to cable should be on the table when it comes to trim costs.
And have an open and honest discussion with your partner about your priorities. It will help you to rethink your budget to save dollars for your maternity leave.
Set long-term goals
No doubt, your career is an integral part of your life! So, you need to understand that your career is a marathon, not a sprint!
Not working during your maternity leave might make you feel discouraged. Also, you might be thinking about how you are going to manage everything!
But I would say you shouldn’t judge yourself based on this short-term period. Instead, you should layout flexible plans and set realistic expectations.
I bet you will be surprised to see how well you can manage to carry it all off.
By the way, are you still anxious? Hopefully, you have understood how you should chalk out your maternity leave!
So, don’t wait! Plan your maternity leave asap and welcome the little angel in your life!
Valentina Wilson is a personal financial blogger. She loves to analyze personal financial matters and help others manage their finances in a better way. Traveling is also her passion. She loves to travel and explore different places all by herself. To connect with her, go to her Facebook | Twitter or visit Bestdebtconsolidation.org