I was lucky enough to receive excellent maternity pay for all three of my children. I was paid full pay for 6 months and then the statutory pay which allowed me a full 12 months off which each child.
As soon as I stopped working I saved money because I wasn’t paying for travel or buying expensive coffees and lunches, I also had less opportunity to shop ( my old office was above an amazing shopping centre ) although of course babies come with their own costs.
Generally my mindset changed when I wasn’t working, I was determined to have a full 12 months off and knew that to do this I needed to make my maternity pay last. I bought less clothes for me and more for the children, spent less on hair cuts and going out was harder anyway so not something I really missed. Meeting for coffee out turned into meeting a friends houses with the children so also saved me money.
I had a bit more time ( with the first baby at least ) to carefully monitor our household finances and make sure I was getting the best deals on gas, electric and insurance. I also took the time to register for and use loyalty cards and search for special offers in the supermarkets.
How to save money on maternity leave
- Buy second hand toys and books. eBay, facebook groups and NCT sales are great places to pick up a bargain.
- Entertain yourselves for free. Rather than pay a fortune for soft play and classes, meet friends in the park, feed the ducks and check out your local library for free classes and events. Sometimes it’s worth paying for an annual pass to a local farm or country park if you can get there frequently.
- Keep an eye out for free samples and special offers.
- Make your own food. Jars and packets of baby food can cost a fortune, cooking and freezing meals in bulk could save lots of money.
- Shop the sales! Buy the next size up in clothes when the sales come around, just be careful of seasons!