Managing Maternity Pay: Making Ends Meet on Less Money
Your new baby is a fantastic new arrival in your life. When your youngster arrives, you can expect plenty of new experiences and love to come your way. Unfortunately, you might also notice a rapidly emptying bank account too. If you’re worried about coping with the dwindling income you’ll have during maternity leave, you’re not alone.
While you might have qualified with maternity allowance or statutory pay to help with the initial months of your child’s arrival, it’s safe to say that these payments can’t come close to the regular income you got from your standard job. Combine the lost income with a new mouth to feed and additional expenses to contend with, and you have a serious cause for stress. Fortunately, there are ways you can make ends meet with less cash. Here are my tips for managing your maternity pay…
1. Look at Getting a Cheaper Mortgage
The chances are that your mortgage is one of your largest outgoing expenses each month. If you look at your budget and you’re worried that you’re not going to have enough cash for everything when the baby arrives, you can always think about cutting down on your mortgage expenses.
Speak to your mortgage broker about ways you can reduce your payments. For instance, you might be able to increase the length of your term or switch to a different provider to cut costs. Alternatively, you can think about moving to interest-only payments for a while. Just remember that you will eventually have to pay more back when you pay interest-only.
2. Reduce your Electricity and Gas Bills
Most of us will stick with the same electricity and gas suppliers for years at a time, simply because we’re too busy to think about changing. However, there are tons of comparison websites out there that can help you to find cheaper rates for your utilities. In fact, some providers will even give you free gifts and rewards for switching to them.
Though it’s not always possible to find a cheaper provider for your utilities, it’s worth looking at every avenue when you’re trying to save cash as a new parent.
3. Look for Ways to Minimise Other Expenses
It’s easy to overlook some of the biggest and best ways to save money in your budget. For instance, if you’re signed up for a regular streaming subscription and you’re paying for extra channels on your TV, the chances are that you’re over-spending for entertainment you can’t really make the most of. Try asking yourself which option you use the most, then cut the other.
If you’re on a contract for your mobile phone, you can also think about switching to pay-as-you-go. Alternatively, ask to speak to the cancellation department for your provider, and you might be given a better deal by a brand who wants to keep you around for as long as possible.
4. Save on Your Food Shop
If your local supermarket has a click and collect option available, then you might be able to save some cash by shopping online. It’s much easier to avoid overspending when you’re shopping for a list of products online, than when you’re pushing trolleys up and down the aisles.
While you’re looking for the food you need online, try downsizing wherever you can. In other words, if you usually buy a premium brand of cereal, try going to the next cheapest brand instead to see whether there’s a significant difference.
5. Track Down Bargains
As a new parent, be prepared to become more frugal than ever. When you’re trying to make ends meet on a lower income, one of the best things you can do is sign up for as many savings websites and coupon apps as possible. For instance, Superdrug and Boots both have their own parenting clubs which you can join to get exclusive discounts.
Some companies also have loyalty schemes that you can use to build up points every time you buy something. The more points you collect, the more money you’ll have to spend next time you’re in store. Points can also be traded in for gifts and rewards too.
6. Look for Other Ways to Earn
Finally, if you’re really struggling with cash, then why not see if you can earn a little extra by working as a virtual assistant or freelancer in your spare time. The digital world has made it easier than ever for new parents to work from home when they’re still looking after their child. Get online and find out what’s available on sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page
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