How to budget for Maternity Leave
Maternity leave is a tricky time. Your salary is likely to drop or you’ll fall on to statutory maternity pay. Yet at the same time, you’ll have loads of spare time to amble around the shops and enjoy a coffee here and there. How can you budget for maternity leave so you don’t spend the nine months worrying about a lack of cash?
Today I share a few things that worked for us when it came to budgeting for maternity leave.
understand what you are entitled to
If you are employed, make sure that you’re employer explains what you are entitled to. Don’t forget paid holidays and bank holidays all count too.
It goes without saying really but start planning as early as you can. Set a budget and try and stick to it. Think about all the large expense that you’ll likely encounter over the year – car insurance, tax, bills. set a budget – project monthly incomings and outgoings.
Don’t shop till you drop
Yes having a baby is exciting and yes you’ll want to spend a small fortune on baby clothes in Next. But don’t. Get a few things but don’t go mad. Why? Because you’ll get a shed load of clothes as gifts and you’ll be amazed at friends who pop round bits and bobs that they no longer need.
We also found the because b was born in June, it was so hot that he pretty much hung out in just his nappy for the first month. Any newborn stuff I bought had to be exchanged for 3-6 months!
Start Saving Now
Even if it’s a small amount. It all adds up and it will help. There’s nothing worse than having any unforeseen expenses. Cue washing machine breaks down.
Take a look at all those subscriptions that you have. Netflix, NOW TV, app subscriptions, the gym, Spotify. Do you need them? Can you survive on the free versions if available?
What are essentials, what can you do without?
Use your Keep in Touch Days
If you’re employed then you should be entitled to Keep in Touch days, which are paid for on top of your maternity pay. Find out about these and make the most of the extra income if you can.
Loyalty cards and Baby Clubs
If you’re a regular at Sainsbury’s then it makes sense to grab a nectar card. Take advantage of any baby clubs that supermarkets offer. I think they pretty much all offer some sort of baby club.
Look out for baby events at the big supermarkets too. Usually Aldi, ASDA and Sainsbury’s have these on a number of times through the year. If you can, stock up on things you know you’ll need – nappies, wipes and shampoo.
Sign up For Freebies!
Don’t forget that there are a number of freebies you can collect while you’re pregnant too. From Emma’s Diary to Bounty, make sure you pick up the packs. We were swimming in Johnson’s baby shampoo and lotion.
Look out for the Mothercare pregnancy events. We went along to our local one and it was great. They gave away a load of freebies and they had a number of sessions all about different aspects of pregnancy and caring for newborns. Beware though, you may come out having spent a load on the cute clothes!
What plans do you have to make your money go a little further while on maternity leave? I also found buying things second hand really helped too. And we love shopping at car boot sales. You can find so many bargains on toys, book and clothes.
If you’re making plans for a little one then don’t forget to pin this for later!