Balancing a career and motherhood is a juggling act that many women face. One of the critical aspects of this balancing act is financial planning. From preparing for maternity leave to managing day-to-day expenses, financial planning across the stages of motherhood is essential.

One of the most significant financial challenges for couples having children is when parents are off on parental leave, particularly when the leave payments have been exhausted. It’s crucial to plan and understand your options for paid and unpaid leave with your employer and if you are entitled to government-paid parental leave. Many companies offer maternity leave benefits, but these vary widely and the policies on your employment duration also differ, so it’s essential to check with your HR department to understand your entitlements.

It’s a good idea to start saving for maternity leave even before you fall pregnant to ensure you have the savings to allow you to have the time off that you wish. This may include setting aside a portion of your income each month to help you build a financial cushion to cover expenses during your time off work. Consider creating a budget to track your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back to save more.

Government Entitlements

To get Parental Leave Pay, you must have an individual adjusted taxable income of either:

  • $156,647 or less in the 2021-22 financial year
  • $168,865 or less in the 2022-23 financial year.

If you don’t meet the individual income test, you can use a family income test. You can get Parental Leave Pay if your and your partner’s adjusted taxable income is up to $350,000 in the applicable financial year.

Tips for Juggling Career, Kids and Financial Wellbeing

1. Educate Yourself
Take the time to learn about basic financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, and investing. Understanding these principles can help you make informed decisions about your finances and plan for the future.

2. Create a Budget
Develop a budget that outlines your income, expenses, and savings goals. This will help you track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back to save more money.

3. Save for Emergencies
Build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund.

4. Plan for Retirement
Start planning for retirement as early as possible. Consider contributing to a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA, to build a nest egg for your future.

5. Seek Financial Advice
Consider seeking advice from a financial planner or advisor. A professional can help you develop a financial plan that aligns with your goals and priorities.

Financial planning is crucial for working mums, especially when preparing for maternity leave and managing day-to-day expenses. By educating yourself, creating a budget, saving for emergencies, planning for retirement, and seeking financial advice, you can take control of your finances and set yourself up for a secure future. Remember, it’s never too early to start planning for your financial future, so start today!

Listen to episode 112 ‘The Juggle is Real – Career, Kids and Financial Wellbeing with Ana Kresina’ on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

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