Maternity Financial Planning
One of the biggest financial commitments you will make is having a baby and that’s why Maternity Financial Planning is essential so that you can enjoy your bundle of joy when the time comes.
So get ahead of the game, do your homework and then you can sit back (yeah right) comfy in the knowledge that your finances are sorted for the foreseeable.
Maternity Leave Payments
You are entitled to up to 52 weeks maternity leave. Dependent on how long you have been with your current employer will determine the amount that you are entitled to. To work out what your entitled to, use this Maternity Allowance Calculator. Statutory Maternity pay is currently at £140.98 per week.
Shared Parental Leave
Dependent on your circumstances you want to share the time off to care for your baby. Luckily there is such a thing as Shared Parental Leave which you may be eligible for. You can find out all the info on this through your employer or here.
You should be entitled to 1 – 2 weeks of paid Paternity Pay. Find out your Paternity Pay Right Here.
Make sure that you claim everything that you may be entitled to. This is dependent on your financial circumstances, but it’s definitely worth a look. Pop over to the Gov Website for more info on everything from claiming Child Benefit to Child Tax Credits.
You are of course entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment which is valid for twelve months following the birth of the baby. You will need to apply for this through your midwife or health visitor.
Forecast your future costs
Once you have your Maternity plan sorted and you have a rough idea of when you will return to work, sit down and work out your current incomings and outgoings. This will help you in the long run and can be adjusted if and when things change. If you’re going to have childcare costs when you return to work it’s a good idea to know how much this is going to be. It’s a huge factor in deciding what hours you will need to return to to make it worthwhile.
Try not to splurge
Easier said that done when you find out your having a baby BUT keeping your head whilst making purchases could save you a fortune. There’s loads of things that you can do to save on the spending:
I know that a lot of people aren’t up for this (I used to be one of them), but babies, especially newborn babies don’t wear their clothes for very long and usually remain in excellent condition. See what Baby Markets and Pre-loved events that are near you. I find a lot of these on Facebook so check out local events. You could also approach friends who have had babies to see if they are willing to sell you outgrown clothes which may give you peace of mind if you’re worried about where they’re coming from.
Do your research
All the magazines and websites will give you endless ideas and lists of all the ‘Must have’ baby gear which can be often misleading. Ask friends who have had babies and you will soon learn that they were led down this path only to find that they didn’t need X, Y and Z. For me it was a bottle warmer and a hand pump for milk. I haven’t known a single person to recommend a bottle warmer and the hand pump for milk was such an effort and took such a long time.
Find out when your favourite shops hold their sales and stock up on things. It’s worth stocking up on things that you know you’re going to need such as nappies and wet wipes. If you do know the gender of your baby or your baby is already here, buy the next size up in clothes or out of season clothes which will fit them when the time comes round.
Family and Friends
All family and friends want to buy something for the new baby. Most people will ask if there is anything in particular that you need. Be honest and let them know what you have left on your list to buy. If it’s something big they may contribute with vouchers, but people really do like to know if they can buy something that you want – It’s why they asked!
I went to loads of baby groups when Isabelle was a baby but the cost of these do stack up. Make sure you factor these into your monthly budget. Not all groups have to cost the earth. Look out for local parenting groups most often held in village or church halls which are often something like £1 for a stay and play session where you get a cuppa and a biscuit. Your health visitor should be able to give you some information on where to find these.
Nappies and Wet wipes
I’m going to write a more dedicated post on this subject, but have you thought of using Washable Nappies and Wet Wipes? Don’t cast this idea aside. Have a look and I guarantee you will be surprised on the options available. We went washable with Isabelle and will be washable with baby number 3. This could save you a small fortune not to mention the environmental benefits. We’re lucky in Devon that we have the Real Nappy Project where you can get advice, trial kits and demonstrations. Again, you should be able to get local information from your Midwife, Health Visitor or you may even receive this information at the hospital antenatal classes.
Loads of the big shops such as Boots and Tesco have Baby Clubs where you get additional points for baby purchases, find out about upcoming ‘baby events’ and special offers. It’s definitely worth signing up for these so that you can get the best value of money on all the every day essentials.
Baby Markets and Pre-loved Events
As well as picking up a bargain, you could also sell on your outgrown and unused items to make some pennies to put towards the next thing you have to buy. You may of course be planning to have more children so it may be that you will store everything for the next one.
I’m sure that there are so many more ways that you could save money so if you have any fab nuggets of wisdom then do pop them in the comments.