Maternity leave budget - advice please(17 Posts)
Hi All - 18 weeks now and emerging from the horrific morning sickness/ tiredness stage and now need to do some planning, yikes! I figure that the maternity benefits will be about £140 a week and £20 a week for child benefit- so about £640 a month is this right ? How much did you end up spending a week on ‘activities’- I am a bit anxious I will not put enough aside and will end up feeling trapped indoors (would rather have the option to go out and not go). Thanks!
What sort of activities? I’ve never paid for a baby class (apart from swimming, but that’s something I think you can for as a Christmas/birthday gift). There should be some free stuff you can do. That sounds probably something to look into now? I probably spent the most money on coffee and cake :/
My mum and baby group will be £1.50 and I plan to go to pilates which is £10 a week. There's a free group at the library which I will also go to. Are you planning on spending more?
Cake sounds good- I am struggling with the idea of being alone in the house before I make any ‘Mum friends’. Normally I am out the house working or with friends, but my friends all work full time.... so I was planning to do some swim classes, baby massage, maybe some classes at the library but are they free ? I am probably being a bit ambitious but I am also normally quite restless so not sure how it will be with baby :s excited though oh and my family all live hours away...
For the first six months I did loads with ds1. I tried to get out daily to a class of some description. It kept me busy and sane and I made some very good friends. Then I cut back as naps became more important.
Are you doing NCT? I mainly hung out with those friends (and still do, some years later). It’s an expensive way to make friends - but for me, it was worth while.
Library reading things are free and are usually quite lovely, but baby massage was a complete waste for me. My baby hated it, and preferred to cry and poo. I’m sure some people like it, but it seemed utterly pointless to me.
I would spend money on swimming, and on small donation type things to stay and plays. Breastfeeding cafes are also pretty good for free/donation only hanging out. You don’t need a problem to go along.
Find out if you have any local children's centres, they will have free groups that you can go to. Local churches tend to put on groups and activities for a small donation ( usually £1 then you get tea and biscuits too)
There is a good app called Hoop that tells you which groups/classes are on in your area.
Also get signed up to Mush app if you want to make new mum friends, I've met lots of mums through that as I'm quite shy to start with.
Thanks all that’s really helpful will try mush and hoop. So funny callamia the baby massage doesn’t sound that appealing when you describe it that way ! I am doing the Nct classes so hopefully I will meet people then, fingers crossed. Does anyone know if the maternity money I am expecting is correct?
Are you working at the minute and if so, how long will you have been there? Of you are entitled to contractual maternity pay, you are likely to get more than £140 per week if you qualify with your employer but it is usually different for different companies
Hi Pitt, yes I am working full time - I will get 6 weeks, I think at 90% pay but it’s the months afterwards I would like to tuck money away for - but I am not sure how much it will be- I was told it’s the statutory pay but they haven’t told me officially what that is- and that’s for 33 weeks.
Your work presumably don't offer contractual pay then as that's statutory pay only. Might just be worth checking your contract instead though.
What you've quoted is right though. Check online for other benefits too, which can take into account your partner's earnings as you may qualify for other bits which could help potentially if he or she isn't a high earner x
Statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance is £281 every two weeks. I spend money on bus fares, coffee and cake and music classes which are about £8 each twice a week. We did a six week baby massage course and I really enjoyed it. We also do mummy and baby yoga which is £14 , I'm in London though so I guess probably more expensive here than other areas. Also there is loads of free stuff at libraries and children's centres.
Honestly though, save as much as you can, in case something happens to your partner's income or you have any unexpected expenses. Also if you have a wad of cash stashed away it will make you feel more secure.
You'll also get £80 a month ish child benefit but depending on your partner's income you may have to pay a tax charge on that.
We've done baby massage and baby sensory which each cost around £70 for a 6-week block (and I had a totally different experience of baby massage, I found the classes great and the woman running them really encouraged the mums to chat and make friends which was nice). I also go to a breastfeeding group which is free and another mum and baby group that's £2 per session. Swimming lessons are pricey, £145-165 where I live but council pools often offer cheaper rates I believe. Certainly in my area there are lots of free/cheap activities, just depends what you fancy doing.
Depending on what your partner earns if you're entitled to tax credits then they don't count the first £100 of smp, just keep that in mind too
I rarely spent money on planned activities. I did take a baby massage class early on (which I think was £60 for 6 weeks). I aim to also take a baby yoga class as well this time, which is about the same. I got an annual pass or two to things I enjoyed (one being the botanical gardens, I used to take my dd there and have picnics or have a coffee in the cafe, etc.), so not so much baby things. I think that was £35 a year. Otherwise I tended to do free things - rhyme time at the library, NCT coffee mornings, sling meet, another mums group that someone hosted at her house, etc. I got myself an annual parking permit in town (£17) so I'd go into town many days, go for coffee, go for walks, go to the park or the beach with lunch. We really didn't do a lot of paid activities. I'd say I mostly spent money on coffee out and occasional lunches for myself. And petrol driving to the park or beach or wherever for a day out. I rarely stayed at home, but I didn't do a lot of 'baby' stuff and most of it was free.
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