In 5 short days I will be returning to my full time job and completing my year-long maternity leave. I'm feeling so conflicted about this (as do most moms who are on the verge of returning back to their old grind after an extended time off)!
Our family is going to be going through so many changes with my return to work. Going from a stay-at-home mom - colouring non-stop and watching the Disney channel, buying my groceries in the middle of the day, and avoiding traffic at all costs - to waking up at 5am, getting the kids to our new dayhome, dealing with rush hour traffic and downtown parking...oiy! The best I can do is hope that we survive and prepare myself as much as I can.
It's ironic that with going back to work, I will be bringing in less money than being on maternity leave. I will now have to start paying for a dayhome ($1,500 a month!), parking, more gas, etc. Yes, it's not cheap to go back to work but it's something I have to do.
To prepare myself and my family, I need to focus on 3 major areas. My first focus is my budget. As I mentioned with all my new expenses I will be bringing in less money per month so I need to address this and make some changes. I started off with a budget sheet and wrote down all my income versus expenses. You can find a great free printable at Sissy Print to record everything you need to track. I then found an excellent free printable for some cash budget envelopes at Today's Nest, which I really like because, for myself, when dealing with cash I'm less likely to go over budget (I guess it's a visual thing)!