How to Plan for Maternity Leave as an Online Business Owner

< back to blog home

Got a baby on the way? Whether you’re due in a few months or planning ahead for a few years in the future, you’re probably wondering what maternity leave looks like if you’re a business owner. Can you even take time away at all?

Absolutely! I’ve taken maternity leave, and I’ve helped several of my clients do the same. So today, I’m going to walk you through exactly how to create a financial plan for your maternity leave as an online business owner.

I’ve gone through this exact same process with many of my clients to help them plan for their time off, and I even created a spreadsheet template for you to use to do the same thing! So without further ado, let’s take a look at those steps to put your plan into place.

Do your bookkeeping

Before you can even begin to create a financial plan for your maternity leave, the one thing that needs to happen first is doing your bookkeeping. Knowing what has happened historically and relying on that information to create projections for your savings plan makes everything 100x easier. Trust me when I say this! Here are a couple of ways to get this done:

  • Software: Head on over to Xero to start up your $13 subscription, link your business bank account, and get started categorizing your transactions! (DM me on IG if you have any questions!)
  • Spreadsheet: If accounting software isn’t your jam, strike up a spreadsheet and input your numbers there to see your total revenue and expenses.
  • Professional: If you seriously don’t want to touch any of this with a 10-foot pole, hire a bookkeeper!

Once you’ve got your books up to date, it will help tremendously when you create a savings goal and make a plan to reach it.

Imagine your maternity leave

What do you want your maternity leave to look like? Are you planning on totally unplugging from your business until you return? Or will you rely on team members to run things while you’re away? Maybe you want something that’s somewhere in the middle. 

There’s no right or wrong answer. The important thing is to choose what’s best for you and your family. But once you know what you’re planning, you can figure out the finances. Ideally, you’ll want to save up all the money you need to cover your expenses while you’re out. Another option is to dip into your business’s cash reserves, or to do a little bit of both. 

Here are some things to consider when you’re making your savings goal:

  • If you’re pausing operations altogether, can you take a break from software subscriptions or other recurring services you won’t need while you’re out?
  • If you’re planning to have your team members run the show, have you accounted for the extra hours you might need to pay someone to cover the tasks you usually do?
  • How much do you want to pay yourself while you’re out on maternity leave?
  • Are there other expenses you want to save up for — hiring a doula, paying for chiropractic care, or investing in a newborn course? Make sure to factor these expenses into your savings goal. 
  • Will your family, spouse, or partner be contributing to your maternity leave goal? For example, if you can save some extra money from your partner’s paycheck, you can reduce the savings goal for your business.

Now that you’ve got a savings goal, it’s time to make a plan to get there!

Save for your maternity leave

Ready to get into the numbers? Answer these four questions first:

  • How much time do you have before maternity leave starts?
  • How much time do you want to take off?
  • What business expenses (including your salary) will you be paying during your time off?
  • How much do you already have in savings?

By answering those questions, you’ll figure out how exactly how much you need to save each month to hit your goal before your baby is in your arms.

Now you’ve got a monthly savings goal. So when you’re doing your bookkeeping every month, designate a portion of your net profit (revenue – expenses) to your savings. 

Some months might have higher or lower savings than others, and you might need to increase your revenue or decrease expenses to meet your overall savings goals! And don’t forget to look at your personal expenses to see if there are any ways you can save money there!

You could stop here if you want, but I highly recommend reviewing your Profit & Loss to come up with some conservative projections of what your profit will look like over the next few months. 

Thankfully, I created a product to help you do just that! It’s a simple spreadsheet that’s easy to use — and it looks pretty too! 😉

My Maternity Leave Financial Plan Spreadsheet template includes everything you need to:

  • Create your savings goal.
  • Track the recurring expenses you expect to pay while you’re out.
  • Review your P&L to calculate your projected savings over the next few months!

It’s in Google Sheets format, but you can convert it to Excel if you prefer. Download the spreadsheet today for only $47!

And as always, if you have any questions or want help with your bookkeeping, get in touch with me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *