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Coping on Statutory Maternity Pay

(30 Posts)
annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 13:47:44

Hi all,
Im really hoping for some advice on coping with the large drop in pay when on maternity leave as currently the whole thing has got me so stressed out I cant stop crying!
My work only offer statutory maternity pay meaning I will be taking a 1k pay drop a month. My boyfriend earns good money on paper but unfortunately our bills/credit commitments are very high and every week he seems to say he is skint but then says he can cover both our bills, mortgage etc. after the baby arrives (bills equate to £2700 including mortgage etc.) which I don't believe he can but he wont admit it.
We are not entitled to any kind of working tax credits and I have tried to re-mortgage with debt consolidation but as I have only owned the house for 6 months its not possible. I have also looked at consolidating debt in other ways (0% CC and loans etc.) but again this isn't possible as my credit score has dropped due to the mortgage and amount of indebtedness, I don't currently have the option of saving any money as I don't earn enough after I've paid bills so really feel like im stuck and I have no idea how we will cope and keep a roof over our heads!
Really hoping there is someone out there who can maybe offer some advice who has been in a similar situation as im desperate and this stress is doing neither myself or the baby any good
Thank you all in advance x

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 30-Apr-15 14:02:55

Are you pregnant at the moment? If not, then obviously it would be best to delay until your in a better financial position

If you are, then you might have to consider going back to work fairly soon after the baby is born. Sorry - I know this is probably not what you want to hear.

Other alternatives are cutting back absolutely everything you can now (ie sky/gym/shop at aldi etc) and see if that helps.

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 14:20:12

Hi,
Yes im 19 weeks pregnant (it was a happy accident) I have looked at returning to work after 6 weeks (we get 90% pay for 6 weeks) but unfortunately the cost of child care is a lot more than I will have left over even back at full time!
I've cancelled our Virgin TV, I don't go to the gym and I shop at Aldi already so im still buggered!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 30-Apr-15 14:26:35

Have you investigated working families tax credits?

You also need to sit down with your partner with his bank statements and work out exactly what he is earning and what his outgoings are

You should also try and negotiate with your creditors to take a smaller amount in debt repayments

Worst case scenario, can you investigate rentng your house out and renting somewhere cheaper if your mortgage company will let you.

This is obviously a long-term isdye rather than a short-term cash flow problem so you'll need to take quite drastic steps

RandomMess Thu 30-Apr-15 14:29:03

You need sit down with your finances together and work through them.

YDdraigGoch Thu 30-Apr-15 14:39:12

It all sounds a bit of a mess OP.

As others have said, you don't have to take maternity leave - I went back to work 8 weeks after each baby because we couldn't afford for me to stay at home. We were only marginally better off after DD2, but it was worth it in the long run, because my salary increased over the years.

£2,700 sounds like a high monthly outgoing for two people. Do you know how this is split up? There may be things your partner is spending money on now that he intends to give up when you stop work.

What are the "very high" bills/credit committments" you talk about? Can you scrimp a bit while you're still earning and reduce some of these?

If you aren't entitled to working tax credits, then this may be because of your combined salaries being too high.

Your credit score wouldn't drop if you are regularly paying your mortgage (this would be in your favour) - are you already NOT paying regularly?

Could you list out what you jointly spend each month - either privately, or on here if you want feedback - to see where you could save?

You might like to go and see someone at the CAB - they will be able to help you review your finances and help you with consolidations etc

slightlyconfused85 Thu 30-Apr-15 14:56:02

Could you investigate a mortgage holiday? I have a friend who did this in a similar position to you and if your mortgage is quite high it could take quite a bit of pressure off.

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 16:05:14

Our mortgage is not that high (£342 a month) so renting would probably work out a lot more!
Unfortunately the 2700 is correct and includes the mortgage and house hold bills etc. We are upto date on the mortgage and never missed a single payment on anything,my credit score has dropped due to the amount of unsecured indebtedness, I don't really want to go to a debt management programme as I don't struggle to pay things now and I'm trying to pay more than the minimum each month and there is a chance I can remortgage with debt con in September just before the baby is due so if go into a programme that will bugger it up. I have put all our expenses into a finance tracker which is what has highlighted the problems

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 30-Apr-15 16:08:54

I'm not really sure what you're expecting us to say?

Your outgoing seem to far exceed what your income will be.

TheJiminyConjecture Thu 30-Apr-15 16:19:58

Do you know how much your partner earns? Either he does or doesn't earn enough to cover the basics.

You say you are paying more than the minimum, am assuming it's cc debt. Would any of these debts be able to be cleared before baby arrives?

We've been paying off debt and as each card emptied webecame eligible for 0% balance transfers etc. This sped up the process as then every penny we paid went towards clearing the debt rather than paying interest.

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 16:38:04

I have simply been looking for some advice gibbolin and I'm sorry if I have annoyed you but I thought i would try this as a last resort in case someone out there had been in a similar situation and could offer some perspective
We are trying to clear as much as we can before the baby arrives,on paper he does earn enough to cover the essentials and has offered to work weekends in the run up athough I'm not really sure I want him working every weekend as he works away all week and Weekends is our time together but I realise we will have to sacrifice that
Again,apologies if it seems I am being hard work to some posters I guess I also needed to vent as well as seek guidance

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 16:39:58

Jiminy thank you for the 0% advice I'll look into that again

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 30-Apr-15 16:43:23

You haven't annoyed me hmm

I'm just trying to work out what help we can actually give you.

There's been a lot of practical advice on this thread (including from me) but it seems that you can't or won't be able to take it

I don't think we can reassure you that everything is going to work out so I'm just trying to clarify exactly what other help you're looking for because I don't want to tell you just to ignore things because that would actually be titally irresponsible

Personally, I think you'll need to get some real life help and see if either set of parents would help you out with a loan to try and consolidate these debts now.

YaTalkinToMe Thu 30-Apr-15 16:44:21

Have you been to CAB for some debt advise?

SuddenRealisation Thu 30-Apr-15 16:45:29

Can you call round current suppliers and negotiate better deals? For instance phone, broadband etc.
We do that yearly and if necessary swap providers to whoever is cheaper.
Food wise, research living off not very much and cook in bulk, meal plan as much as possible.
Check if someone at citizens advice can help you go over your finances and budget.
Sell anything of worth that you own.
Try eBay and car boot sales.

comeagainforbigfudge Thu 30-Apr-15 16:54:19

Hi, I don't have much more advice than what has been offered but one thing me and my partner have done is live off one wage since about 20week scan.

So if your partner says he can pay all bills does that include food? If so, save your wage. Or work out a food budget from yur wages and put everything else in savings.

It's been a bit hit and miss as trying to do some renovations as well but we have done our best to stick to it. Might just give you a wee buffer.

But do go speak to cab or the money advise people.

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 17:15:03

Hi all I'm going to go to cab tomorrow and also the bank to see what my options are,the saving my wage is a great idea I'll talk to the other half about it even if it'd just for a month at least then we will be able to see if we can do it

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 17:16:42

Unfortunately neither set of parents are in a position to help financially

GraysAnalogy Thu 30-Apr-15 17:28:12

goblin as the OP stated she's been in tears over this, we all appreciate straight talking but perhaps she needs a bit of emotional support too as well as the financial. I can see that so I'm sure you do.

anna can you sell and downsize? Or could you look at the re-mortage when the baby comes?

durhamgirl Thu 30-Apr-15 17:31:28

Have you done a benefits calculator? I know you said you wouldn't get enough for WTC buy what about child tax credit? When on SMP you discount the first £100 per week when calculating your income so this might drop you under the threshold?

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 17:32:29

Going to look at remortgage in September as I will have owned the house a year then our mortgage actually works out less than renting believe it or not!
And thanks for the support smile

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 30-Apr-15 17:41:19

grays - I and lots of other posters have given lots of practical advice. It's hardly the case that we've said "oh fgs, why are you in this position".

On the other hand, it would be totally irresponsible to say "don't worry hun, everything will be fine".

So, I was just trying to clarify what exactly the OP wanted us to say and/or do? Not exactly unreasonable

annalou02 Thu 30-Apr-15 18:05:31

I appreciate everyone's advice very much and I'm re reading it all and working out what will be best for us in our situation so again thank you all for taking the time to comment

YDdraigGoch Thu 30-Apr-15 18:12:53

OP £300+ pcm is not a very big mortgage. You really need to find out what the rest of the £2700 is being spent on. That's quite a lot for two people to get through in a month, and it doesn't include your salary.
If your partner says you can manage on his income after the baby is born, then as someone said, start doing that straight away and save your salary to spend when you need it.
Don't forget you'll get £20+ child benefit per week when the baby is born. That will help.

Yorkiebar123 Thu 30-Apr-15 18:31:25

Consider changing bank accounts for the cash incentive ( I made £125 moving). I food shopped on approved.food.co.uk. I ebayed all my old clothes and TV, old laptops. I haggled with broadband, energy and phone contracts. I did mystery shopping and Avon. I stopped watching TV to save on electric (yes really) and emailed my friend and family asking for second hand baby gear. I haven't bought anything other than food for a year!! It's possible!! smile

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