We’re on the count down now to my maternity leave and the scary thought of having 1 less full time wage. I have 6 weeks left at work. 6 weeks of doing as much as we can to save and prepare before our income dramatically drops. Here are some things I’ve already started doing, as well as some top tips from my blogging friends on how to survive financially while on maternity leave.
- The first thing I’ve started doing is getting gifts ready for upcoming birthdays. The sales have been good and I’ve already saved myself a fortune. Also, on the plus side I won’t need to drag a newborn round the shops trying to find something last minute. It’s Lilian’s birthday 6 days after baby is due and Cody’s 10 days after baby is due. I’ve got all of Cody’s gifts already and most of Lilian’s too. Picking things up in the sales has meant that I’ve spent a grand total of £43.35 on Cody as opposed to the RRP of £118!
- Next I’ve joined several online baby groups which have sent me free samples. We’ve also picked up the Bounty packs. We’ve had Tommee Tippee bottles, nappy cream, wet wipes, etc. These have all been stashed away ready. On top of that I’ve been keeping an eye on https://www.magicfreebiesuk.co.uk/ and the O2 priority app for any freebies that might be useful. I’ve managed to get a couple of stocking fillers already. Things like lip balm, nail varnish, etc for the girls.
- As well as freebies I’ve been entering competitions on Facebook and various websites. Last week we won cinema tickets and a meal for 4 which we are very excited about. We also won a stamp collecting kit for the kids as well. Must have been our lucky week! Winning prizes means we can still do fun things or win gifts without it costing us a penny.
- Don’t forget there are plenty of places out there too that are free to visit. Maria at https://www.happymummy.co.uk says ‘Have a jar full of free local days out so you have a good bank of free but beautiful places to choose from where you can go out as a family or meet up with friends.’ We have a great list here of free places to visit in the South which will come in really handy – http://mumof2point5.com/daysout/free-places-to-visit-in-the-south/. Our National Trust passes will also be put to good use!
- 2 weeks ago I joined some online survey sights to earn a little extra money. I figure it’ll keep me busy while doing the night feeds! I’ve seen some people earn enough to pay for all their Christmas gifts and food by doing surveys so its worth a go.
- While I’m still working I’ve been doing overtime wherever possible and saving like crazy so we’ve already got some money behind us. This will help cover things like car insurance and tax later on in the year.
- To help boost these savings we’ve also sold loads of stuff we don’t use over recent weeks. It’s been good to de-clutter and be able to put some extra money away as well. I find local Facebook selling pages and Gumtree work best.
- Rachel who blogs at https://rachelbustin.com says to ‘meal plan. Know exactly what you are going to buy when you go shopping and don’t shop when you are hungry!’ I used to be good at this but I must admit I’ve got a bit lazy with it. Must get my act together and make sure we shop at Aldi too as it always works out so much cheaper!
- There are other ways you can cut back your outgoings too. Jo from
https://joatnumber26.com advises you ‘go through your finances and see if you can find cheaper car/house etc insurance when it comes up for renewal. Also look to cancel any non-essential direct debits if you can e.g. sky or reduce your sky package/Netflix. We saved about £200 a month doing this when I was on maternity leave.’
- Jenni from https://chillingwithlucas.com says to ‘stock up on essentials like nappies, wipes, clothes, etc whilst you are still at work on a full wage.’ I did this when we had Lois and the nappies lasted until just before I went back to work which was great! Definitely starting to stockpile from next week. I’ve already written a list and that includes maternity towels and breast pads too.
- Jossi at https://businessformums.co.uk says ‘shop for baby at nearly new sales like Mum2Mum Market or NCT. You will save a fortune on clothes, toys and equipment.’ We’ve got a local one coming up so I’m going to go along and see what it’s like. Second hand doesn’t bother me as long as its in good condition. They outgrow everything so fast! We’ve already been given lots of clothes from my niece and nursery bedding etc. Lots of it wont be any good if we have a boy though!
- ‘In addition to the above check if you’re entitled to any benefits. If you rent you might be entitled to housing benefit, council tax benefit and so on.’ Good advice from Erica at http://www.theincidentalparent.com
Have we missed anything from our list? What did you do to prepare for maternity leave? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with any pregnant friends.