Not long ago it took one income to support a family. Inflation was low, and the job market was strong. Today’s America requires two working parents and two incomes. But what do you do when your family is faced with a major pregnancy related income loss? You still need to survive and thrive. I have been in this position twice. So I will help you understand and navigate pregnancy income loss. My advice is a guide for parents on how to stay financially secure.
Step One: Seeing Red
Gather all your bills and add them up. This may be ugly but you will know where you stand. So do not worry, even if you are in the red. Remember the income loss is temporary. Hopefully you have followed my advice and have built up your savings. While this is a good time to use a little, you still need to keep most of it. Hold onto your savings for dear life, because this is a rocky road! Finally, keep calm even if you see red in your budget. Income loss will not be permanent. Read further to explore other ways to survive pregnancy income loss.
Step Two: Temporary Food Help
Cutting food costs helps dramatically. Also, eat more fresh food. Whole foods fill you up more than junk food. Also, they are more nutritious for mom and baby. Apply for short-term food assistance. If your income is low enough, you qualify for food stamps. These are state run programs designed to help people in your position. Remember, it is only temporary. Finally, please do not feel bad about getting help. Your family deserves it.
Step Three: Food Pantries and Churches
First, get help from food pantries and churches. Please, do not feel above them. Remember, this is temporary income loss from pregnancy. You do not have to do this forever. Having been there myself at one point, I know it is not the end of the world. Things will get better. Sure, you will have to swallow your pride and wait. You may not get the food you want. But if you do nothing you may not financially survive the income loss from pregnancy. Remember mother and baby deserve to eat as much as possible. Again, there are programs in place to help, so take full advantage.
You are not a drain, you deserve it! So ask for help because it is more than worth it in the end. Remember, asking for help does not require religious devotion. Many churches will still help even if you are not a member! When you are in better shape you can always revisit the church and donate some back.
Paying Down Debt
Another way to save during this critical time is to look at your credit cards. Are they hurting you with high interest and large minimum payments? Stop them cold. I am the light at the end of the tunnel! If you have high interest and balances, ask your creditors for help! This saved us $109 in interest for several months. My exact words were, “We are not disputing any of these purchases. They were all made providing for our family. A van, auto repairs, and our bills. We owe every penny and have no problem paying it back. Currently, however, we are experiencing a financial hardship and unable to pay interest or high minimum payments.”
It took several phone calls and a couple of managers. But we were honest about our situation, so our creditors finally helped us out. Our minimum payments dropped from $550 to $149. Also, I got them to accept a $20 minimum payment one month.It is amazing what you can achieve when you are upfront and honest with your creditors. But you have to put forth the effort. A simple phone can work wonders; take it from me.
Step Five: Keeping the Bills Paid
There are yet other ways to manage loss of income due to pregnancy. Make sure your utilities are set to budget billing. This way spikes in energy usage costs are normalized. Instead of a high bill you will have a fixed lower payment. This is essential in offsetting this pregnancy income loss. Remember, if you cannot make a payment for any bill, call them. This is a very important step. Who is more likely to receive help?The family who ignores their bills, or the family who calls, explains their situation, and asks kindly for help? From my experience I can tell you this is a hard time for all families. Many creditors also have families and can empathize with you and your situation. But do not forget to avoid any credit card use if possible. This is an easy time to go deep into debt.
To recap, these are the steps you need to take to manage income loss during pregnancy:
Call your creditors and ask how they can help. Ask friends, family, and churches for donations. Take advantage of food pantries to use grocery money for more critical bills. Pay the most critical bills first (check the order in our bills and debts article). Go to your local county’s human services office and ask them how to apply for government assistance. You may qualify to get your electricity paid for if you are experiencing hardship. Do not to spend a penny on anything that is not needed. Evaluate all of your purchases, and decide if they are wants or needs. A lot of parents are wasting money on wants. When your income drops, you shouldn’t spend money on wants, only needs. Once you clear everything up and get back on track you can spend on luxuries again. But for now let’s cut the wants completely.
Showing gratitude is key. If you want to survive pregnancy related income loss listen closely. You will never get much if you are being ungrateful. You can do this. Your family can survive this trying time of income loss from pregnancy. Mine has twice now and we are thriving. But it takes time, hard work, lots of love, and dedication. At the time both our last pregnancies happened, mom was not only a source of income, but our main source of income! Imagine the stress it put on our family. We had to figure out a way to win this war with as little stress as possible. For us this was not only a pregnancy, but a high risk pregnancy! Stress was a factor for sure. Mom and baby need all the love and support possible, so reach out and take it!
Do not stress, just handle it. One of our family mottos is TCB. Take care of business. Work first, then pleasure. It takes being thrifty, asking for help, and being responsible to make it through. You have learned skills needed to survive pregnancy income loss. While you may lose income due to baby, you will make it through financially secure. We celebrate your addition! We would love to know your baby’s name! If you submit your baby’s name, gender, and birthday, we will enter them into a drawing for a free baby survival kit. We will chose one out of every 10 entries! This can include diapers, food, formula, wipes, bath supplies, etc. We know what you will need! You know we love you. We have your back!
Thanks for reading our article on how to survive Pregnancy income loss. We hope you have found it to be informative and helpful. If you have any tips from your experience we might add to help others please share with us. Thanks again for reading and be sure to bookmark us! Check back for more helpful articles later.