It’s not easy starting a business when you’re on maternity leave, so here are a few tips to make your money go further.
- You are entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment while you’re pregnant and a year after the baby is born. Don’t forget to book in a dental check up before your child is a year old (easily done when you’re busy with a baby!).
- Shop around for home and contents insurance and car insurance. If you can’t find time to do that, phone your insurance company when your renewal letter arrives and ask them if they can give you a better deal.
- Shop around for gas and electricity too. Often the best deal is the web tariff, so you don’t even need to pick up the phone.
- Have you got baby equipment that seemed a good idea before the little one was born, but has hardly been used? How about that heavy travel system that fills your entire car boot and that travel cot that turned out to be too small? You can sell these now and spend the money on kit for your older baby such as a play pen, garden toys, a bigger travel cot and a baby bouncer. You can buy and sell at Netmums.com, eBay, car boot sales and notice boards at some Sure Start centres.
- Look up new recipes using seasonal ingredients. Seasonal ingredients are usually cheaper than ones that have been grown overseas, they are better for the environment (less travel) and you could support local farmers too.
- Try planning your meals for the week before you go shopping. This saves you having to throw away food that has gone out of date because you bought too much. It also saves you from popping to the supermarket mid-week when you run out of food. That means you won’t be tempted to spend £20 more than you expected! Meal planning sounds a pain, but with a bit of practice it’s hardly any effort at all.
- Check to see if your mortgage company will let you take a payment holiday for a few months.
- Sell your maternity clothes on eBay.
- If you have credit cards and or accounts with home shopping companies, make sure you pay them on time. I never used to miss a payment, but I was a bit disorganised after my babies were born and I missed the payment deadline by a couple of times. Once you’ve added up the interest and late payment fee, it can be surprisingly expensive. Check to see if your credit card company will take a minimum payment by direct debit – at least you won’t have to pay the fee then.
- Check out www.babybudgeting.co.uk for loads more ideas for saving money when you have a baby.
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