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I’m on maternity leave and my pockets are feeling it BIG TIME! We have gone from a two-income family to just one; and I like pretty things a lot, so I’m finding it a tad challenging at times.
I have always been super independent when it comes to money. I got my first job at good old McDonalds when I was 14 and nine months and have not stopped working since! (Please note that I rocked the Maccas uniform visor hard)
I’ve always made my own money and even though I’m married and my husband and I have a joint account for things like our mortgage, I also have my own account with my own money which I do whatever the hell I want with! Once upon a time I would have sacrificed eating for a week for some leather goods or killer pair of boots. Apparently it’s bad parenting to sacrifice my little girls nappies for said boots. (What a bore)
My days of spending frivolously are well and truly over now that I am on mat leave. I am budgeting like a lil demon. I have been quite surprised at the little tips and tricks I have picked up along the way from other mums who also have to juggle one wage, a new baby and an appetite for online shopping. (Can I just add that an online shopping addiction for a new mum is torture – what else are you meant to do when you’re up all night with a tot on the boob?!)
So, let me share my top TEN money-saving tips with you:
1. Stock up in advance. I can’t believe how many nappies and wipes I go through. Everyone told me I would but I couldn’t fathom how true that would be until I have found myself knee-deep in poo every day. If you stock up in advance while you’re still working these expenses won’t seem so bad.
2. If you’re not shopping for your groceries online – you must! It’s a huge time AND money saver – you’re not wondering the aisles popping things in your trolley that you don’t need. Note that any form of chocolate is ALWAYS needed.
3. When you have a baby everyone you know will want to meet you for coffee or lunch. Suggest a coffee or tea at your house instead to keep costs down.
4. Cancel memberships you’re not using. If it’s not likely you’ll be at the gym for a couple of months after your babe arriving, then pop the membership on hold to save some coin. Start saving for your child’s future with The Children’s ISA tax-free savings until their 18th birthday.
5. Consider receiving the government funded parental leave pay at half payover six months rather than the full amount over three. This will bring money coming in for longer – even if it’s not much, it’s better than nada!
6. Don’t spend a lot of money on maternity clothes that you won’t wear again. Try buying things that you like from places you’d normally shop – but in a couple of sizes bigger (or three sizes bigger) than your normal size! You can then take them in after bub…I am still working on that one!!
7. Have a trial run and try living off one salary before the mini human comes along for a few months to see how you go and know what you’re dealing with. This is also great for saving up some money for while you’re not earning.
8. Borrow bub clothes from friends – Little humans grow soooo quickly and this means they grow out of clothing before you’ve got more than a couple of wears out of things. So share and share alike!
9. Buy second hand. This is especially true for items like a bassinet, which you may only use for a short time – I used mine for just 6 weeks – so this can be exy if you pay full price. Make eBay your bestie.
10. Lastly, checkout the ‘Women’s Money Toolkit’ from the ASIC here. It’s totally free and even has a parental leave calculator to help you work out your finances on leave. Yes please!
I hope this helps! Now back to online shopping with all the bags of money I’m saving…Don’t judge.