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Anyone fancy sharing tips for surviving on maternity pay?

(11 Posts)
KitKat1985 Tue 01-Nov-16 10:17:30


Due DD2 in less than 4 weeks. I'm using up some annual leave right now and then taking a year's maternity leave. I'm managed to save a bit of money which I'm hoping will cover any emergencies / unexpected bills (last maternity leave we had loads of issues like car repairs and burst water pipes so I'm very aware of the need for a contingency fund)! However really I need to cut back a bit on our day-to-day living costs too in order to manage on a month by month basis too. Was wondering if everyone was up for sharing ideas / tips?

So far I'm thinking:

1) Since we have loads of toys / books etc already (we're very lucky that DD who is 2 has older cousins who have given us loads of their old toys) we were thinking of getting DD (and asking family to contribute) to annual passes for a local children's zoo / activity park this Christmas rather than getting lots of presents per se, so that there is somewhere I can take both DDs too throughout the year which won't cost us anything on a day-to-day basis, as inevitably DD1 will get bored otherwise stuck at home too much. Other than that we can just get both girls some small token gifts this year (thankfully a newborn and toddler don't understand the cost of things yet so hoping we can get away with this)!

2) Have just recently discovered that if anyone uses the childcare vouchers website you can buy 'gift cards' for things like Tesco at a 4% discount. You can also get a small discount of things like Harvester vouchers etc. So I'm going to start buying gift vouchers for Tesco in order to cut a few pounds out of each shop (I.e. buy a £100 gift card for £96).

3) Raid the reduced-to-clear section in the supermarket and freeze things where possible (especially things like meat) for later use.

4) Try and meet friends at each others houses / parks more often rather than go to soft play / out for lunch which is invariably a lot cheaper.

What else do you all do to just try and keep day-to-day costs down?

lightcola Tue 01-Nov-16 10:21:41

I work out the total amount I would get over the 39 weeks and divide by 9 months. Then use that as my allowance each month. That way you dont have loads at the beginning and less at the end.

KitKat1985 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:58:20

Ahh I'm quite lucky in that respect as I work for the NHS and they give you the option of having all of your occupational maternity pay split into equal payments, so I've done that for the year. It doesn't work for statutory pay though so that's only for 9 months.

SheldonCRules Tue 01-Nov-16 19:30:20

I saved prior so that there was no drop in pay and extra to go out and about.

I'd not personally ask for passes as people like to choose their own gifts and it's rude to ask for certain items.

PippaRose Tue 01-Nov-16 20:14:33

lightcola that's a great idea good tip, will defo do that

KitKat1985 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:30:44

Sheldon I get what you are saying but my family always ask for ideas on what they can get DD, so I'll just suggest it as an option to them. If they would rather not then it's not a problem and they can choose something for themselves. smile

isthistoonosy Tue 01-Nov-16 20:38:55

Eat veggie several days a week. Use frozen veg. Don't go too crazy freezing its better to meal plan than have left overs.

Do home activities and for your general sanity accept that cbbc is a suitable activity for.your toddler in the early days - also cheap which is handy.

If people want to get toys ask them to club together for big things the kids will want when older - garage, toy kitchen, slide, trampoline etc - more of a long term saving of both money and sanity -,kids that play together and all that wink

MyGiddyUncle Tue 01-Nov-16 22:13:51

The best thing I could suggest would be to stop shopping at Tesco! grin

We were Tesco shoppers for about ten years and switched to Lidl about a year ago. I stayed at Lidl because I found the quality the same (not the quantity/range but that's no bad thing when on a budget)...but now if I get a few things at Tesco I find it horrifying just how expensive it is by comparison. A typical basket of basics like fruit and veg, toilet paper, bread and milk might come to £12 in Tesco and i'd be thinking 'Christ this would have been a fiver in Lidl!'

HiDBandSIL Wed 02-Nov-16 13:31:18

I was going to say the same as giddyuncle. Food costs are a huge proportion of total spending. I switched Waitrose for Sainsbury's and now almost choke when I stop in there for the occasional thing!

Also Aldi nappies over Pampers. Reusable wipes. Walk everywhere rather than drive and pay for parking. Wilko sell great cheap toys. Also TK Maxx clearance section.

2015mom Sun 13-Nov-16 21:17:38

Budget for everything but splash out on treats every now and then for your sanity.

I have written all my income and expenses down and worked out the disposable income left.

Shop in aldi as much cheaper. Try and compare where your shopping is cheaper. Aldi nappies are really cheap. I even compared on the website and found ocado are cheaper.
Big brands stuff check what's cheaper via the website.

Do meal planning by looking at ingredients in your fridge and freezer first and buy whatever else extra you need. You will find you grocery bills will reduce. Don't bulk buy, just buy what you need. Finish what you have before you buy and replace. I.e toiletries, use up all your creams before buying new ones, even make up finish what you have.

Hubby and I just did our weekly shop and spent £25 at Aldi and that's for a whole week of food and drink

2015mom Sun 13-Nov-16 21:20:12

When purchasing on interest always go to Topcashback first and go to the shop via the website u will get cashback for doing nothing.

I got cash injections via that website through maternity which helped. Insurances you can get a lot of money back ... We got £60 back for car insurance via the website, we also got £70 back for home insurance. Even before going on comparison websites you get cashback by going on Topcashback first. Other shops will be 1% here or 5%, worth doing as over time you will get cash injections.
I have got a total of £600 from the website over the years

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