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Planning for maternity / part time hours

(8 Posts)
catlover1987 Wed 01-Mar-17 11:39:16

We are TTC at the moment and doing a lot of financial planning to make sure we can afford maternity leave etc. I am lucky enough to get 18 weeks full pay and we have enough savings put aside for the shortfall after that so I can have a year off on mat leave without it really affecting us too much financially.

I know it's way off in the future but I have being doing some calculations to see if we could afford for me to work part time after going back to work. I think we could just about do it but it would be very tight, as we don't have family that can help with childcare so would need to use a nursery / childminder. I've worked out that after paying for childcare and all our essential bills/travel food, we would have about £700 a month 'spare.' But these calcs don't take in to account any one offs such as car maintenance / house maintenance etc, or anything the baby would need.

I just want an idea of whether this is realistic. I know it's very early days but trying to be as fully prepared as possible as I don't want to wait until I'm pregnant to start worrying about this. How did you budget for maternity / part time working?Any tips would be much appreciated. Thanks xx

Babyroobs Wed 01-Mar-17 12:55:49

The only way we could do it was by working around each other so that we paid very little in childcare costs ( we have got 4 kids though). So I worked nights and weekends and dh works 9-5 ish. Obviously this is difficult if your type of work is strictly office hours. You could look into whether your reduced part time wage coupled with your dh's wages would mean you would get any help from tax credits with childcare costs or whether your employers participate in the childcare vouchers scheme which is a salary sacrifice scheme and can save you quite a bit on nursery/ childminder fees.

catlover1987 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:37:48

Thanks Babyroobs. That's really helpful advice. There is a little bit of flexibility as my DH is self employed but on the whole, we generally both work standard office hours. I hadn't considered childcare vouchers though so that's something else to look in to. I don't think we'd be eligible for any tax credits.

MoonlightMojitos Sun 05-Mar-17 09:24:20

£700 a month the spare?! Jesus, is that normal? We both work full time and don't have half that after paying for everything. I have 2 months left til I go on maternity leave and will only get SMP so currently trying to cost cut and get as much credit card etc laid off before I finish. Good luck ttc by the way!

Emeralda Sun 05-Mar-17 20:45:06

£700/month spare sounds good to me.

Babies are cheap. Childcare is expensive. I think the Childcare Vouchers scheme is changing but it's definitely worth looking into. Worth checking Tax Credits based on your SMP income.

A friend of mine started living on maternity pay as soon as she found out she was pregnant and put the rest of her wages away. I wasn't that brave.

Clear debt, reduce your outgoings as much as possible. Is it worth having a separate savings account for car and house maintenance? Write down what you've spent on car and house in the last year and put a monthly amount away. Decide on a threshold and don't let it go below that. Then you know that you are prepared for the predictable big spends.

I overpaid my mortgage and took a payment holiday on mat leave but that wouldn't suit everyone.

Good luck.

JoJoSM2 Mon 06-Mar-17 22:01:11

Perhaps you could go back to work a bit sooner? As you'll be working part-time, you'll still be able to spend a fair bit of time with the baby. Also have a look at your expenses to see if you can cut back a bit here and there - you might find that 700 spare grows to 850 which can make a significant difference (that's almost 2k a year).

KCpip Tue 28-Mar-17 21:40:45

£700 a month spare sounds plenty although I appreciate you're thinking house maintenance etc within that. Just one thing to add, you may find your costs go down in some ways too. Eg. No travel costs to work, maybe a bit more time in and around home initially, less time to go shopping/cinema/restaurants. Sorry don't want to sound depressing but just meaning that initially at least you might find baby costs just replace other costs.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:56:13

Well planning went slightly out of the window when baby number 1 turned into to babies 1 & 2 (twins!!). Suddenly not as much money left after child care costs as we expected!!

Couple of things to remember - I don't think your costs go down at all (unless you're really extravagant with shop bought lunches / coffees etc when you're at work). You'll be at home more (so utilities), you'll be awake longer, using more electric etc. Plan expenses for any baby classes you want to do (baby massage / music) - not necessary for the value of the classes, but just to get out of the house and meet other new mums.

Remember you still accrue annual leave whilst you're on maternity so if you're taking a year, you'll get 20+ days. You could potentially use those days to either go back on the payroll a month early (I.e. getting a full months pay, but still be at home) or be paid for full time hours but take a day off a week for 20 weeks (depends what your employer will allow).

Also worth considering whether you want any more children and how quickly. If you want more than 1, and you want them close together, then it might be worth considering going back full time so your maternity pay for Baby 2 is based on full time pay too. If you go part time, would you be able to afford another full year's maternity for Baby number 2?

There's so much to think about but hats off to you for trying to be prepared.

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