How to Budget When on Maternity Leave

How to Budget When on Maternity Leave

Being on maternity leave is the perfect time to enjoy your pregnancy, prepare to give birth, and then enjoy the first few months of having a new parent. But maternity leave also comes with it the worries of financial pressures and concerns. Many new parents can find themselves lying awake at night worrying about how they are going to cover all the new costs that come from having a baby, especially while being on a reduced wage during maternity leave. 

However, it is important to remember that maternity leave is supposed to be an enjoyable and magical time with your new baby, so by being prepared and planning how to budget in advance you can be sure to make the most of your leave. 

Understand Your Finances  

It is much easier to budget money when you fully understand your finances. This means knowing all of your outgoings each month, and all of the money coming in. Firstly, we would recommend that you get to grips with your maternity leave and how much pay you can expect each month. Be sure to find out what company benefits you will still receive and if you can apply any government benefits to help you out once the baby arrives, such as tax credits or child benefit. 

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You should also find out what annual leave you will accrue while on maternity leave as you may be able to use this at the end of your maternity leave to extend your time off. Once you know how long you will be off work, and how much money you need to pay out, you can budget more effectively. 

Shop Around for The Best Energy Deals 

One of the best ways to budget your money while on maternity leave is to cut down your expenses where possible. For example, you may be surprised at how much you spend on your energy bills each month and how much money you could save. There are many different comparison websites online that can help you find the most competitive rates. 

We recommend that you sign up to the Cheap Energy Club as it will automatically remember your current energy tariffs and notify you when cheaper ones are available. You will be surprised at how even the smallest of savings can soon add up over the duration of your maternity leave and help to ease the money worries you are experiencing. 

Check Out Your Finance Options 

If you are struggling to make ends meet and are looking for some extra support to see you through maternity leave, then you may want to check out your finance credit options, and see what is available to you. For example, fully authorized and regulated credit broker New Horizons can help you find financial help from a range of different lenders. Using the finance credit guide for parents available at newhorizons.co.uk, you can find out all the answers to the questions you have about finance, as well as some top tips on how to save yourself money and get access to extra support. New Horizons can offer a no-obligation quote with no fees and no credit footprint.

Exploring your finance options can be a great way to cover costs and eliminate any money worries during maternity leave.  

Don’t Go Crazy on Baby Stuff 

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, it can be tempting to buy everything baby related that you see. But instead, you should spend this time saving up as much as possible. If you can set aside some of your monthly wage towards the beginning of your maternity leave, you will be able to rely on your savings to cover some of the extra costs that come with the arrival of an extra addition to the family. 

Buy Second-hand 

While it is natural that you want to start buying all of the baby equipment, outfits, and accessories once you find out that you are pregnant, you should consider shopping secondhand for the things that you need. Babies tend to grow out of clothes and toys very quickly, plus you can never be quite sure what size your baby will be when they are born. So, there isn’t much point spending a lot of money on clothes that your baby may only wear a handful of times. Therefore, we recommend that you look online at Depop and eBay, where you can find clothes in great condition for a fraction of the price. 

You may also consider shopping around for second-hand maternity clothes so that you aren’t spending over the odds on clothes that you will only wear for a few months. 

It is important that money worries don’t overtake the excitement and anticipation that comes from having a baby, and that instead by being prepared, planning ahead, and being aware of all your financial options you can budget effectively during maternity leave and make the most of this magical time as a family.

Kate Dyson

Kate is the Founder of The Motherload, the 'owner' of one husband, two daughters, two cats and one rabbit. She loves wine, loathes exercise and fervently believes in the power of women supporting women. Find me on instagram: @themotherloadhq

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