GoStork Interview Series: Creative Tips for Financing Fertility Treatments, with Devon Baeza @the_fertility_finance_coach
CMO of GoStork
We loved our conversation with Devon Baeza, The Fertility Finance Coach helping those struggling through infertility to “make, save, and manifest money” to pay for treatment. Devon shared her fertility journey and how she figured out financing it, as well as actionable tips on how to finance your own, including how to bring up tough financial conversations, both with your partner and your fertility providers.
Devon knows first hand how important the financial aspect is on your fertility journey. In her own words: “I couldn’t stomach the thought of money being what stopped me from motherhood. That started a journey of crazy ways to make money, to save money […] – and eventually led to us being able to pay cash for IVF” .
Her infertility resume includes 6 IUIs, a miscarriage, surgery, and successful IVF. Her journey also led to a personal transformation – as she shares, she went from “rookie” to “veteran” over the course of navigating her extensive infertility journey. Along the way, she learned to advocate for herself, to negotiate and to ask uncomfortable questions that made things better in the long run.
Check out some of the actionable tips Devon shared with us on financing your journey:
Budget: It’s hard to sustain a crazy budget in the long term. Saving and making money in a short period of time in all areas is more achievable.
Don’t cut out everything you love: Budget for date nights, breaks and things that bring you joy. As the fertility journey is already hard enough – find ways to still do what’s fulfilling for you in a way that supports your goals. Figure out what works best for you, your situation and your timeline – where you save but don’t cut everything out. It’s not sustainable in the long run and will lead to disappointment.
Do more of what you’re already doing to earn money: While fundraising options like a garage sale can make you some money, it does not keep giving. The most powerful way of making money is the way you’re already making money. Overtime, a promotion or consulting work on the side are all great options which are easy to expand on.
Timelines: Identify which money making option is more of a long-term solution and which can get you money in a shorter time period. As an example, going back to school may lead to a higher salary down the line but when there’s a biological clock ticking, a long-term option is not advisable.
Celebrate the wins: Identifying and acknowledging the wins will help you keep going and doing more. Having a visual representation of how much you’re saving and planning something special to mark each milestone is one way of keeping you excited and both on board as a couple. So put it right on a bulletin board in a central area or the refrigerator and have fun updating it together!
Contest & Side Hustles: A fun way of making money is through contests, such as healthywage.com – you’re more likely to achieve your goals if there is a financial component attached to them. Side hustles, like teaching english to foreign students, are a good way to earn extra income. You can also check out dscout.com to get rewarded for your opinion!
Manifest money: Now is the perfect time to work things through, and get over money blocks. Deal with everything that’s not working in your life. Get on the same team with your partner, figure out how to communicate well and work as a team in the face of financial hurdles, including on what you’re willing to do and what you aren’t to save money.
Insurance, HSA + FSAs: Get familiar with what your employer offers. HSA and FSA can be a huge benefit to you during tax time. If you know you have fertility treatments coming up, maximize your investment in those in advance. When calling your insurance, document everything: write down who you’re talking to, the date and time, what you discussed and agreed upon. Ask for your own codes, and ask to speak to a manager if you need to. Ask more questions than you think you need to – knowing what is covered and at which point in your journey will make a difference in your treatment decisions. Keep them on the phone until you feel fully educated on your options or you’ve received all of the responses you need – and keep a journal of everything you learn. The reference can sometimes be helpful at unexpected times in the future.
Medications: You want to know which medication tier they fall under, if they cost less based on the diagnosis they’re prescribed for, if there are generic alternatives to what they’re prescribing, and if you can get your medications cheaper from overseas. As everything you can – it never hurts to ask and you are owed all the answers you seek.
Advocate for yourself with your fertility doctor: advocating for yourself helps your financial journey. Figure out how much you’re willing to pay just to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation – this should spur you to ask the hard/uncomfortable questions such as if there are ways your clinic can help reduce your costs. Compare prices locally and ask your clinic to price match if you find cheaper options in your area.
Find meaning: Find what money means to you – what it symbolizes. This can be key to putting things in perspective emotionally and breaking through any discomfort you may have had discussing money and pushing through financial barriers from the rational side of your brain rather than the emotional side.
“I really want people to know that it’s possible, no matter what your financial situation is, it is possible for you if you decide it. Money will not be what decides if you become a mother, a father or not. It will not be money, it will be your decision. And I want people to know that it won’t always be this hard. […] And when you get to the other side, you will have become the best version of yourself, you will have let go of all the things that are not working for you, you will have put things in place that will benefit you and your family for the rest of your life. This isn’t in vain. You are stronger than you know. You will keep going, you are so brave to get up every day and keep doing this. It is going to be ok.”
Devon Baeza, The Fertility Finance Coach
Thank you for being with us Devon, and for all the work you do to bring awareness to the financial burdens of infertility, ways to overcome these barriers, and for opening up this important money conversation in general!