When you should be so excited for the arrival on your little one and relaxing before they come along it can be difficult when you are thinking about how you will manage money wise whilst off work.
I remember thinking about how little we would have coming in from maternity pay especially as I was on statutory maternity pay because for some reason that worked out more than my works enhanced pay!
I was also worrying about after maternity leave ended and how much of my wage would disappear on childcare. It’s hard not to think of these things and I can’t offer a magic fix on childcare, as it happens, I ended up not returning to work full time as it didn’t make sense to with what I would end up taking home after paying nursery fees but here are some ways to make money worries a little easier whilst you are pregnant.
1) If you are working and it’s available, pick up overtime. I picked up overtime during pregnancy so we had a bit extra coming in whilst I could.
1a) I also didn’t officially start my maternity leave until my due date. I saved up all my annual leave and used that before my maternity leave started.
1b) Whilst you are on maternity leave, you are still earning annual leave so I used my accrued leave before I returned to work. We didn’t have any holidays planned and I enjoyed that bit of extra time off work at full pay.
1c) If you work shifts and can pick up overtime, find out when your maternity pay is calculated from. Mine was calculated from a set number of weeks work from a certain point in my pregnancy so I ensured I picked up as many extra shifts as I could during those weeks, knowing it would boost my maternity allowance.
2) Stock up whilst you are pregnant. I know a lot of people won’t want to do this as it could be seen as bad luck but I stocked up on baby toiletries, nappies in various sizes from new born to size 3 (luckily I actually somehow did pretty well and estimating how many packs I needed in each size!), baby clothes etc when they are on offer or there are sales on. This means you are buying when they are a good price and you are still earning money and leaves less expense when you are on maternity pay.
I still buy the next size up of clothes and shoes for Lucas now when they are in the sale and put them away until needed.
3) Use local Facebook groups for buying and selling. Sell items you no longer use and on local groups, you know someone can pick up without you having to pay for postage and you don’t have any fees to pay like you would on eBay. Also use them for buying items, my friend recently got a Silver Cross cot and changing unit in excellent condition, both for £50. Buying those new would have been at least £600
4) Check your bills, can you save by switching companies or have your current company got some new tariffs and deals that may suit you better? If you are paying for a tv service, don’t automatically take their renewal quote, if need be, threaten to cancel and see how much they will take off your monthly bill then. If you have a gym membership, pause it until you will use it again.
5) Use cashback sites. I use cashback sites for my shopping to earn cashback on what I buy, my favourite is Top Cashback. I get my cashback paid onto my Love2shop card as it earns me an extra 6% on my payout. There is also Quidco for cashback. When there isn’t any cashback available on those for a certain store I check KidStart, KidStart pays cashback into a nominated children’s savings account.
6) Joining loyalty clubs is an easy way of gaining points to spend. The Boots Parenting Club is my favourite as you get 10 points for every £1 you spend on baby products which soon add up. I save throughout the year and then they can be used for extra treats at Christmas time. The regular Boots Advantage Card gives you 4 points for every £1.
Other loyalty cards I like are Nectar, Superdrug, Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis.
7) As a last resort if you do need some help or a short term loan, CashLady offer loans and are very upfront with their fees. I haven’t personally used them but they ensure that their customers have all the information needed before committing to a short term loan. Also, do check out the free Money Advice Service from the government