You wouldn’t think it but one of the biggest obstacles of having a baby is being off work and claiming statuary maternity pay because let’s face it its pants! I wasn’t thankful at the time but looking back I’m really glad it took a year to get pregnant because I managed to save hard for a year and 9 months which I am really thankful for now!!
So what are new mothers entitled to from the government? Maternity pay is made up of 52 weeks (I think) the first 6 weeks we get 90% of our wage which is pretty reasonable. As soon as that 6 weeks is up BAM it’s like being hit with financially embarrassed spade right in the face.
And let me tell you even with a mountain of savings behind me I’m still struggling! It’s the little things you don’t even think about that all add up. All those trips to costa have pretty much wiped me out and I’m only 5 months into my maternity leave! The baby milk at £20 a week and the rate that they grow out of clothes is crippling me. My savings keep going down and down making me panic that I’m going to have to go back to work earlier then planned.
On top of all this the dreding C word is looming! I took the decision to go back to work 1 day a week to earn some doller for Christmas! First parenting hack is save save save… get down the pound shop and get yerself one of those saving tins and keep wacking any spare money you’ve got in there! You’d be surprised how it all adds up! I can’t wait to open mine and go and do some Christmas shopping!
So 5 months in and I’ve realised I need to stop going out for lunch 3 times a week and buying unnecessary shit that I really don’t need. I’ve learnt quite a few tricks and hacks on how to survive the utter joke that we get as maternity pay! Don’t be afraid to jot these down and try them out!
Probabley the biggest parenting hack for any new mum is second hand stuff! Being a new parent is not a time to be proud and refuse second hand stuff from people. Infact most of the stuff we have is second hand! What’s the point In spending a fortune on clothes/ cots/ prams ect when there’s perfectly good second hand stuff to be had. I’m not a snob I will take anything thrown at me. We all want our babies to have the best we can possibly give them but Seriously in the long run it will save you loads!! May I suggest trying out eBay to? I’ve had some right bargains on there! Take this gro bag for example! 30 odd quid brand new. I got it for £6 on eBay!
A trick that I stupidly missed out on was buying a season ticket for the bus! As I don’t drive I have to get the bus everywhere which is fine apart from the cost! It’s almost £6 return to my local big town. If I go just twice a week that’s almost £50 a month! I really missed a trick with that one. But we live and learn I know for next time!
This next one sounds pretty obvious… basically don’t spend £100 on food in Waitrose when it will cost you half that from Aldi! I know a few Aldi snobs who won’t even dare to go past the front door in fear they will be seen and laughed at for shopping in a cheapy shop. God forbid! Why would you buy a pint of milk in Waitrose for 5 quid when it’s only 1 in Aldi? Aldi is perfectly good produce for amazing value so be wise .. don’t be a Waitrose wanker!
One of the best hacks I’ve found is sale shopping! I’ve been super organised and have already started buying for when my baby is 1! Whenever there’s a sale on I’m there like a crazed mum rustling through the rails sniffing out all the bargains. FYI H&M have amazing sales!! Now is not the time to be proud and shop in places like John Lewis and such like. Primark is the best place for good quality lower priced baby clothes.
One great trick I’m rather proud of is my ability to perfect “photo shoots” for my child. You know the ones I mean? Where you go along to a studio and pay an absolute fortune to have some cool pics of your baby taken in diffrent scenarios. Bugger that! I’ve learnt how to do it myself and save big bucks! Let’s take a Halloween photo shoot for example. Probably over £100 to have done professional. Zoe’s way costs. around £10! I got all the stuff I needed from my friend the pound shop, and I was extremely lucky to find a HUGE pumpkin in …You guessed it! ALDI. That bad boy was only £2:50! So away we went. I stuck a white sheet up and snapped away. Here’s the finshed pics.!
Then I had the idea to do a autumn photoshoot. All I needed was a shit ton of leaves. So off I skipped up to the rec with a bin bag and a very embarrassed looking husband in tow. I gathered up all the leaves I needed and off I trotted back home to do my thing! This one was totally free and I got some really good professional looking photos.
My final peice of advice is simply just to budget. Work out what you’ve got to spend that week and don’t go above it. Saying that I also advise don’t obsess over money like I do. Still have fun go out and enjoy yourself with baby because let’s face it maternity leave doesn’t last forever. Do everything that makes you happy.. except shop in Waitrose. Nobody likes a Waitrose wanker!!
Happy maternity leave