Feeling The Pinch? Managing Your Money While On Maternity Leave!

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If you are a new parent, the chances are that you are living on maternity pay. While the concept of maternity leave and pay is a fantastic one, the issue is that maternity pay doesn’t tend to go that far. Because maternity pay doesn’t match your regular income - it tends to be 90% of your pay for the first six weeks of leave, followed by £140 a week for the remaining 33 weeks - it can be difficult getting by on it.

The number one reason that the majority of new mums choose to go back to work early is because they can’t afford not to. This means that they get less time with their little one and less time to recover from pregnancy and giving birth. It also means that they end up paying for expensive childcare. The question is if you’re starting to feel the pinch and finding it hard to get by on your maternity pay, does that mean it’s time to go back to work or are there other options to consider?

Surviving on less money than you are used to may not be easy, but there are ways that you can make it work.

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Start budgeting
Believe it or not, it is possible to live on almost any income; it’s just a case of budgeting accordingly. If you’ve never budgeted before, now is the time to start monitoring your spending. Careful budgeting will make a world of difference to your finances, so it’s something that’s worth doing. Sure, it may take time to adjust to, but once you’ve got into the swing of things, you should find that budgeting not only makes a huge difference but is also incredibly easy to do.

Take advantage of benefits 
Could you be entitled to Child Benefit? You might not like the idea of taking a ‘handout’ from the government, but that’s not what Child Benefit is. Child Benefit is something that your taxes pay towards; it’s something that you are entitled to. If you aren’t already receiving Child Benefit, go online and use the government benefits calculator to see if you are entitled to it. It might only be a small amount that you can get, but every little helps.

Apply for a loan
Another option could be to take out a loan. If money is tight and your maternity pay isn’t spreading as far as you would like it to, perhaps taking out a loan could be the answer. You could borrow a set amount, split it over your maternity leave, and then start paying it back once you return to work. If you’ve got a low credit score, then you might be unsure about whether you are able to get a loan, but there’s no need to worry because there are loan providers that specialise in loans for people with bad credit. Wondering what are personal loans for people with bad credit? They’re just loans that are tailored to the needs of borrowers with low credit scores, that’s all.

Utilise selling sites
 Got a garage packed full of old and unwanted items? Have a loft filled to the rafters with junk? Well, now could be the perfect time to have a clear out and sell some of your old and unwanted items. Websites like eBay and Gumtree make selling your unwanted items easier than ever before, so if you are in need of some extra funds and have a range of unwanted items in your home, take the time to upload photos and prices to selling sites.

Money might be tight because your maternity pay may not be stretching as far as you hoped it would, but hopefully, the advice above will help you to ensure that your money goes that little bit further.
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