Maternity Leave: Saving Money

I have two of the biggest things going on in my life at the moment.

  1. I am buying my first ever home, and it’s a family home because…
  2. I am having my first child (exciting times ahead, but stressful to say the least)

So if you were wondering why this post is titled ‘Maternity Leave: Saving Money’ then you now know why.
Not only have myself and my partner spent an absolute fortune in the last couple of months purchasing all the latest baby gear on the market, but we have been paying legal and estate agent fees to ensure we get the family home of our dreams.
We’ve had to learn how to save money over the past couple of months, taking into account the fact that I would be receiving statutory maternity pay whilst on leave from work.
Savings are extremely important for everyone, and these next couple of months will be key in ensuring we don’t overspend and continue to save, but also monitoring our expenditure and giving ourselves affordable budgets too.
If you can save money whilst on a lower income, you will have the security of cash to fall back on in the event of an emergency (such as a flat tyre, a burst pipe or an unexpected medical appointment). This is exactly why we have been preparing as best as we can.
Having our savings means we have a backup plan and reduces our chances of researching payday loans that could help balance our finances. 
It isn’t a weakness to need a bit of extra cash and fast, but it can be helped. Below are 5 tips on how you can prepare for maternity leave and learn how to manage your lower income:

  1. If you are still at work, try to take as little holiday as possible in the lead up to your maternity leave. You can take your holiday first, get paid full pay, then start maternity leave once your annual leave has been used. I had 3 weeks leave to use before my maternity leave was taken into consideration. This means I had 3 weeks full pay whilst relaxing, nesting and generally counting down the days. Maternity leave has to start from the day baby is born though, so always keep your employers up to date.
  2. Remember your 10 KIT (keeping in touch) days. You get paid a full day rate salary for these days, so whether you attend a team meeting for a couple of hours or a staff conference working event – your time is valued. Speak to your employer to find out more about these cost-effective days.
  3. Childcare vouchers are also another tax efficient way of paying for childcare during or after your maternity leave. Your employer may offer you some sort of staff benefit that includes this, so it’s always worth asking for more information.
  4. Don’t forget to budget in the next couple of months. If you know your dates for when your maternity leave is going to begin, then start planning your expenditure and income. This will ensure that you are on top of the cash changes and will allow you to plan in those birthdays, holidays or unexpected emergencies.
  5. Finally, if you are hard up then don’t fear as you can always sell unused or outgrown baby items you have purchased through the likes of eBay. I am pretty sure that within a matter of weeks we will have lots of stuff that can be sold on for a bit of extra cash.

So don’t fear the lower income and get yourself in a panic. Just research your options, start to budget and plan, and enjoy your time off with your baby.
*This opportunity has been sent to by a PR/brand but all opinions are my own*

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