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Maternity pay

(9 Posts)
Poppy2010owen Thu 11-Dec-14 12:50:55

Hi, I am still quite early pregnant but am already worrying about maternity pay. I currently earn about £1500-£1700 TH each month depending on overtime and my OH only TH about £900 (hoping for a pay rise in January). I am only entitled to SMP and will only be taking 5 months off but am very worried about how I'm going to pay my rent and bills when on ML. Any advice is welcomed. I pay £500 in JA for rent and bills on the house and about £400 for car insurance, phone contract, loan repayment and credit card repayment. (Debt I've accured via traveling). I don't know how I will survive. Please help ease my worries with advice and tips.
Thanks you!

Babyroobs Thu 11-Dec-14 13:48:35

It's just a matter of trying to save as much as possible before the baby comes along really to cover those months when your income is lower. If your joint household income is likely to drop below £26k next tax year ( when I presume most of your mat leave will fall) then you may be entitled to tax credits but you can't apply until the baby is born. You will also get child benefit of £20 a week approx once baby is born. If you are using childcare when you go back to work then you may also get some help with costs, as long as you both work 16 or more hours a week and your child is in Ofsted registered childcare.

Didactylos Fri 12-Dec-14 21:55:06

Babyr is right - save whatever you can as a cash buffer
but also try and minimise your known outgoings eg see if theres any way you can get your credit cards on to 0% deals before your income drops.
I managed to shift all my debts to 0% interest for the duration of my mat leave and know i can afford them for the 'lean' months where im only taking home maternity allowance - indeed can still overpay them slightly. Can you negotiate the loan either- payment holiday or reduced payments for those months?

Chunderella Sat 13-Dec-14 12:26:48

If you get paid a lot more than your OH, it probably makes more sense to split the leave. If you're due before April, he can't have any til you've done 26 weeks ML, but if you're after then you just need to do a few weeks and then he can take it over. SMP is about £600 a month, if he's earning only £900 it's possible you wouldn't be much worse off once commuting and work expenses are considered. Obviously still a drop in income for you, just not as big a one as it would be if you were the one at home rather than him.

Fattyfattyyumyum Sat 13-Dec-14 12:33:51

Your post reads like you feel about silly to be worrying about this while "early pregnant" but in reality it's exactly what you need to do. It would have been better to sort debts etc before having a child if you can't afford the repayments while on mat leave. Who's going to look after the baby when you go back to work? Childcare is expensive so needs to be bugetted for.

Chunderella Sat 13-Dec-14 14:28:09

Depending on the area you live in OP, it might be more financially viable for DH to be a SAHP. There are quite a few parts of the country where full time childcare plus commute would be more than £900 a month.

TalkinPeace Sat 13-Dec-14 15:21:52

TBH can you really afford to take 5 months off?
It may be better to take off the time that is fully paid and then get your DH to take the lower paid part
and then get him to be the home husband.

Thank your lucky stars you do not live in the USA where there is no statutory maternity pay.

Artandco Sat 13-Dec-14 15:26:34

I would also look at less time off. Maybe take 12 weeks, then get dh to take the rest off with baby as he earns far less

NotGoingOut17 Wed 17-Dec-14 01:42:31

If you are due after 4th April then as other have said, your DP could take time off rather than you under the new shared parental leave guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/shared-parental-leave

You are only required to take 2 weeks off on mat leave (although may want longer) and then he can take the remainder 50 weeks. I realise you may prefer to stay at home but may be worth looking into to see if it would be more viable for you to return to work earlier. You may even find that as well as having you (the higher earner) back in work earning that your DP's employer offers more generous terms for the parental leave than you would get on mat leave. I know both mine and DP's employers will pay males at the same rate as female employees get for mat leave so depending where he works it could be significantly better than your SMP.

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