When one has problems conceiving, the financial side can be overwhelming.
In Canada, there are some provinces that cover the costs of infertility but most don’t. Some extended medical plans also cover some costs which is usually limited. My medical coverage reimbursed me a lifetime amount of up to $6000. That was used up rather quickly as the costs are so high. Here is how I have managed the financial side of life as a single mom by choice.
I made a career change, maximized my pay rate, changed my spending habits, lived below my means and arranged work schedules that will allow me to spend more time with my children.
Luckily for me, I read some business books in my late teens that encouraged me to save my money, invest wisely and don’t spend everything I make.This simple advice has allowed me much financial freedom and peace of mind. I bought my first home with my two brothers when I just finished university and got my first job. I was twenty three years old at the time. The house was very old but the housing market in Vancouver has done nothing but increase exponentially year after year so it was a good thing I bought when I did. When I was married, I didn’t work as my husband was quite wealthy. We had money to do whatever we wanted materially. We both didn’t work and spent our time traveling and trying to start a family. Through this relationship I really learned in an extreme way that money definitely does not buy you happiness. I never needed the material things but living in this world just confirmed it to me that happiness comes from within and in other ways besides material goods. When we divorced I left with very little relative to his worth; enough to go back to school and start a new future for myself. I had been out of the work force at this time for about 5 years.
I went back to become a teacher.
I felt that this would be the best career change if I wanted to start a family especially if it ended up being on my own. The pay and the hours of work were perfect for being a single mom by choice. I already had a degree in business but I had to go back for twelve months and obtain an education degree. After teaching for a while and not getting pregnant with my then boyfriend, I decided to upgrade my business knowledge in order to better teach and make the highest rate of pay. I completed my MBA, and within a week, had my in vitro procedure through donor sperm and donor egg which resulted in the birth of my son Taylor.
Much of my pay was used to pay for conception costs, little disposable income was left for other wants.
Conceiving was so important to me and was my priority. If that is what it cost, I was willing to pay it. I didn’t feel deprived or in need in any other forum as those were my choices. When I had my son Taylor, I had one year off of work for maternity leave. When I was on maternity leave, I received benefits of 80% of my income for the first 3 months through my extended health coverage and payments of employment income for the remainder 9 months. That rate was just over $400/week. I made much more working but just had to adjust my spending to accommodate. I knew this time off was a luxury and I wanted to make the best of it. I cashed out all my accumulated credit card points and went to visit a high school friend in Paris then went to Italy for a week. I also visited a friend who invited me to stay with her on vacation in her condo in Hualtulco, Mexico for a couple of weeks and then on another credit cards points flew to San Francisco for a couple of weeks to visit relatives.
My grandma at that time was about eighty nine and had traveled very little in her life time so I was able to take her on many road trips around B.C. She was so excited and it was nice because now she is too old and incapable of any further traveling. We went to Whistler, Kelowna, Fairmont Hot Springs in B.C. and Ocean Shores in Washington. Those were wonderful memories I will always cherish. Luckily my mom has a time share and the accommodations for last minute bookings is only $300 for seven nights. I have made the best use of my time off as I love to travel. My points covered my airfares and road trips were relatively inexpensive. We ate in almost all the time and I spend very little on any other things except necessities.
My biggest cost saving and what has ultimately allowed me to afford all these things is that I live below my means.
I had sold my house after the divorce and bought another house, a condo and a townhouse. I invested at a time where the Vancouver housing market was just starting to skyrocket and I was lucky. My grandparents lived in the townhouse (my sister and I owned), my sister and mother live in my house which I jointly purchased with my sister and I rent out my other condo. My rental income now has been greater than my cost to finance it which has given me some extra income. I also made some money when we sold the townhouse last year. I live in a condo close to my house even though I could afford a bigger place. My net gains on housing has allowed me to spend so much money on conception and getting my master’s degree. Now that the children are here and my 2 bedroom is going to quickly become too small I will need to move soon. For now, it is great and with the high costs of daycare I will try to stay here as long as we can manage the small space.
I am on maternity leave for another few months then I return to work full time.
I have arranged to have my children in daycare while I am at work. Luckily I found a great one walking distance from where I live. It will cost me $2000 per month for all three children. My mother will look after Taylor on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and that way he can go to preschool on those days in the afternoon. I started a plan at work which is called deferred pay/leave of absence program. I have been deferring 25% of my pay for the past 2.5 years and I only need to complete this school year (work from January till June and I will have another school year off with the pay that was deferred. This works out wonderfully for me as I will get to spend more time with the children while they are young and financially because the costs of daycare are so high when they are under 3. I may even end up better off financially. I may do this program again where I work three years and then get a year off. My children will still be very young and I will get to enjoy their childhoods with them. Luckily I have a good paying job and I have made some income on real estate and I live in a less expensive condo.
Many provinces do cover more of the fertility procedures and there are many way better medical plans out there.
I have also seen where people go online to ask for support for their plight. The private clinics also have a donor embryo program. Many people donate their extra frozen embryos that they are not going to use to the other people trying to conceive but can’t afford the costs. If I could not afford the costs, I would contact the private fertility clinics nearby and find out how to become a recipient of an excess frozen embryo. I had three embryos that were extra as my donor was able to produce 22 eggs and of those eggs; 1 embryo became my son Taylor and 7 embryos were in good enough condition to freeze. Then 2 embryos became my twins Brian and Jean and 2 did not result in conception and the remaining 3 I donated to the fertility clinic.
Conception then raising and supporting children is not an inexpensive proposition. It’s very important to prepare one’s life and finances to afford the extra costs.
I hope you enjoyed this episode on “how did you manage your finances? Pregnancy and parenting. If you have any questions, please go to our website at choicemomma.com and click on “ask me.”
Thank you for listening and please join me on the next episode on “what criteria did you have for selecting sperm and egg?”