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To be panicking about money while on maternity leave???

(21 Posts)
reenzeen Fri 27-May-11 21:59:06

Im currently 35 wks pregnant and am panicking a bit about how much money we'll have while on maternity leave. I get 6 wks 90% then down to stat maternity pay.

Between me and DH's savings and stat pay we should have about 10k for the 9 months i'm off. 10k would prob cover our bills but there wouldn't be alot of spare cash left after that.

My DH works full time but doesn't have alot of spare cash to be handing me out every week, I earn a bit more than him usually and am used to having my own money, and tbh don't think I would enjoy asking him for money all the time.

We did have great savings at one time but they are now gone due to building our own house.

All of my mummy friends get at least 6months full pay and are moaning about that which is worrying me even more. confused

I previously considered taking only couple of months off but I know I would be so unhappy leaving my LO at such a young age.

I have talked it over with DH and he thinks im being silly and we will be ok and he will c to it that we don't go short.

Am I just being silly and will it all work out in the end or is it really hard to have your income slashed by over a third and live relatively normal??

posterofagirl Fri 27-May-11 22:15:51

I am in a similar situation and I am likley to be made redundant during mat leave too.
My current attitude is to not worry too much about it and let it spoil the end of my pregnancy/first few months with LO.

Sorry I don't have better advice but I will let you know if I come up with a plan!

springbokscantjump Fri 27-May-11 22:19:50

It'll work out. I've just restarted back at work and tbh was amazed by the fact that we could get with me on mat leave pay. It did make us re-evaluate how we spend money and be more careful with money but actually our outgoings decreased, even with baby in tow. My travel expenses were obviously slashed, our wine bill practically disappeared blush and because although we were tired with LO we got less take aways and meals out and made do with either cheap and quick home made meals or with microwave stuff.

Plus what you do changes so dramatically, especially in the first few months. The little costs that you have when working that normally add up aren't there anymore (travel, coffee on the way in, lunch out with colleagues, drinks after etc.).

You may need to be a bit careful but it is (surprisingly) manageable smile

Guitargirl Fri 27-May-11 22:20:52

With our first DC, I had enough savings to cover the 10 months mat leave that I took.

We had DC2 2 years later and that was nowhere near enough time to build up the same amount of savings. So we took out a loan which we have nearly finished paying off. Not ideal but it was the only way we could do it.

redexpat Fri 27-May-11 22:24:58

Well it'll probably be a shock to the system, I don't think worrying about that is silly at all. At least you are facing up to this and preparing.

I guess you and your partner have to sit down together and look at what you spent money on in the last 3 months, take that as a template and see what you can cut down/eliminate from it. Tell him that you're very touced that he says he'll look after you (men LOVE feeling wanted) but that you would really like to have a closer look at things now to set your mind at rest.

General rules for cuts are: Nights out go, alcohol goes (unless you've had a really tough day), start hunting for vouchers and things online and in papers, buy baby stuff second hand (esp clothes!). Are bills paid by direct debit? From the same supplier? Insurance convering more than you need?

Also look at how you can create some income. Sell stuff on ebay. I'm sure other MNetters will be along shortly with more ways to do this. Can DH take more hours before the baby comes?

It probably will work out ok, but it's always best to be prepared.

reenzeen Fri 27-May-11 22:35:25

Yeah I hope it will work out - but still can't help worrying, I guess I've never really had to buget before and hate asking for money from my DH, I even let most of the money he owes me for bills go and I hate money conversations between freinds, like paying bills in restaurats etc.

Have a spreadsheet set up for the time im off with ingoings and outgoings on it and have recently took to looking at it every day as if this is somehow gonna generate more money!

posterofagirl thats my biggest fear too,I feel I'm now really standing out from everyone else by going off to have a baby and I work in a male dominated industry which doesn't help matters sad

Tortu Fri 27-May-11 22:48:16

Hmmm. Am still on maternity leave and, although am slightly concerned at this month's stat mat pay check, we've also been a bit intrigued at how cheaper life is when you no longer go out or drink much alcohol. Maybe we were unusually debauched pre-baby, but we reckon most of our serious (non-mortgage) outgoings were on our social life. Since this no longer exists, life is so much cheaper. We even saved money in the first couple of months!

griphook Fri 27-May-11 22:53:29

we were in the boat and I would often worry about it, but you will be surprised about how well you can budget, and things that you ussed to spend your money on some how no longer seem important.

but try not to buy everything new for baby there are some great bargins on ebay and in charity shops. the shootiing stars ones are great as they are all children's stuff

reenzeen Fri 27-May-11 23:01:11

We haven't got much of a social life atm anyway- have only been out a handful of times since i got pg and DH hasn't had a drink since xmas! But I suppose any extra cash we have been saving from nights out has been going on baby stuff so we haven't seen the benefit of it yet.

loads of social events coming up while im on mat leave though- best friends wedding, hen doo etc, SIL 30th, my own sis 21st,relatives from America coming over, parents big wedding anniversary,mums big b'day and DH's 30th not to mention xmas!

But you all seem to be positive about it so maybe it will be ok- and if it is really bad perhaps I can just go back after 6 months or something.

shubiedoo Sat 28-May-11 11:57:24

The way you talk about money seems odd for a married couple; "handing out cash" etc. Don't you have a joint account you both pay into? I haven't worked for a long while now, we have 3 kids, but that's what I did with my husband for years, leaving each other some personal spending money as well for clothes, books, nights out etc. Now that I'm not earning, most things come out of his account, we both have access to it though.

Anyway, you really don't need much at the beginning for a small baby, not even a cot for the first few months. Enjoy the end of your pregnancy and new little one smile

sprinkles77 Sat 28-May-11 12:04:52

YANBU. I think the anxiety is magnified by being a first time parent. It all feels like a lot of responsibility. It's scary having an extra person to clothe (and feed) on a reduced income. We had the same situation. In fact DH had taken a new job for less money just after DS was born. We wrote out a budget, made some sacrifices (2 haircuts for me in the last 14 months, one meal out or takeaway max a week, both stopped smoking) and pulled our belts in. I went back to work after 1 year, 2 days a week. Our income is still down, but we have learned to live within our means, and it has not been as bad as I feared. You'll manage cos you have no choice, but actually doing a formal budget will make you feel a bit better, and may highlight savings you can make.

jeckadeck Sat 28-May-11 12:06:33

YANBU. I think its pretty much par for the course to feel panicky. From an outsider's pov, 10k isn't too bad and if you can live fairly frugally you should be OK.

SardineQueen Sat 28-May-11 12:08:55

Hi reenzeen it might be worth you and DH sitting down and working out how the finances are going to work going forward, now before you have the baby.

I was the same as you, used to having lots of disposable cash and also earnt more than my partner. There was no need to think about joint accounts or how we divided things as we had plenty of money IYSWIM.

Thing is that things change when you have children - you have realised that "your" income on mat pay is going to be not much, if you decide to go part time "your" income will drop, if you work childcare will have to be paid for and "whose" money will that come out of... Everything changes.

You say that you are uncomfortable "asking" your DH for money which is a fairly common feeling. So for that reason I think it would be a really good idea to sit down together now and think about arranging your finances differently - either all into a joint account and bills, children's stuff, childcare etc get paid and you share anything left over, or have a system where you both have some spending money and the rest goes into a bills/savings account, or however you want to do it. This way you won't have to "ask" him for money and I think you will both be a lot more comfortable as a family unit, rather than 2 single people with a baby added and one suddenly isn't earning much IYSWIM.

reenzeen Sat 28-May-11 12:36:01

shubiedoo yeah I know it prob seems odd to alot of people as most of my friends have joint accounts with their DH's, but all the bills come out of my account and my DH just gives me half the cash- he is self employed so may not get paid for a couple of wks then gets money all at once so he just gives me his half when he has it, and tbh I prefer it this way, it means when all the bills are paid we can do wat we like with our own money (that used to mean clothes and shoes for me) and we don't have to answer to each other. I have more bills than him but prob have more disposable income than him but I also pay for our family car myself (he has a van) and fork out hundreds of pounds on diesel every month just to get to work that he doesn't have to!

So this is why I will find it so odd being dependant on him- I know he would never ask me how much i've spent on things but, I would feel bad spending 'his' money on clothes for me or nik naks for the house etc as thats wat I always used my own money for.

But I guess 9 months of this will not kill me and things will go back to normal when I go back to work- but I think I will start saving for baby number 2 when I go back so i'm well sorted for the next time (whenever that may be) wink

vj32 Sat 28-May-11 12:45:57

I was really worried about this, but now LO is here it doesn't seem important and I am confident we can manage! While very pregnant you can't do much and that just leads to unnecessary worrying.

Don't buy too much newborn/0-3 baby clothes - you will get loads of presents.
Check car insurance/utilities/mortgage to check you are on the best deals
Get a joint account

Just take time to get used to the idea! My contract finishes while I am on mat leave so I will soon be unemployed. But I know I will make it work somehow.

gallicgirl Sat 28-May-11 12:46:00

You will cope but it sounds like an ideal time to have a little chat about finances. I tried this with my DP and it was only when I got my last payslip (DD is 4 months old!!) that it finally sunk in that he might have to support me.

In reality though, he's supporting his daughter by paying into family finances so I can be off work.

Is it worth asking for a mortgage holiday while you're off work? That might alleviate finances a bit.

thisisourtime Sat 28-May-11 12:53:59

You'll manage.

Our income has halved since I was made redundant and we're managing ok. Would never have believed we could when I first got pregnant - I honestly thought I'd have to rush back to work after 6 months (I got 6 months full maternity pay) and work full time.

In the end we cut back and I had a year off and went back three days a week. Then got made redundant and we STILL manage!

CountBapula Sat 28-May-11 13:11:57

I worried about this loads too but we've managed pretty well.. I gave DH my share of the mortgage as a lump sum at the beginning of mat leave (out of savings). That first six weeks' full pay went quite a long way, and then stat mat pay plus child benefit (don't forget to claim that) comes to £600 a month, which I use for food shopping and the odd bit of baby stuff. I buy clothes from cheap shops (I'm still a size bigger post-pregnancy), get baby clothes from supermarkets, and use cheaper toiletries etc. I batch cook at weekends and freeze stuff to keep food bills down. DH takes care of the bills. I walk most places with the pushchair to get DS to nap so my transport costs are low. We rarely go out in the evenings because DS is a terrible sleeper!

I never thought I could live on statutory mat pay but it is eminently possible if your DP earns enough to pick up some of the slack. Your lifestyle changes so much when you have a young baby so you spend less money.

grumpykat25 Sat 28-May-11 13:26:20

I was and still am amazed at how little you can live comfortably on. My dh was made redundant and had to retrain just before I went on mat. leave and his retraining fees ate up all our savings leaving us with nothing. I was on smp after 6 weeks and he was building a business from scratch.

We applied for (and got) a 6 month mortgage holiday and the tax credits people took our current years earnings to base their calculations on. Without these mahoosive helping hands we would most definitely have gone under. My family were brilliant and helped out where they could and I went back to work part time earlier than I initially planned after nine months.

I've been back at work 6 months, dh's business is gaining strength slowly and we get by comfortably even though I'm only working 3 days a week.

Don't be afraid to ask for help and don't worry about it too much!

reenzeen Sun 29-May-11 11:08:31

Thanks for your replies ladies you have all made me feel alot better about it it seems most people are in the same boat when on maternity leave and have managed- and who needs fancy shoes/clothes when you have your own wee baby to enjoy!! grin so i'll just have to remember this!

gallicgirl Sun 29-May-11 11:27:39

To be honest, you're probably going to be covered in baby sick for the first few months so you wouldn't want your fancy clothes ruined anyway!

grin

or is that just me?

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