Taking on lots of extra work just isn’t an option for mums-to-be, so how else can you earn more on maternity?
The first thing to do is know your baby budget. Once you know your incomings and outgoings, you’ll get an idea of how much extra dosh you need during maternity leave. But even with a stash of savings, it’s still a good idea to look after the pennies so you don’t feel strapped for cash. Check out our top nine tips and see how you can save and make money on maternity leave!
9 Ways to Save & Make Money on Maternity Leave
1) Shop Around
Shopping around is one of the best things you can do to save on the cost of a baby. For your essentials, like nappies and cotton wool, supermarket brands are generally the cheapest way to go. And if you’re looking for larger baby items, look for deals to make your money go further.
2) Sell, Sell, Sell
Old forgotten phone stuck in a drawer? What about that fancy dress you’ve only worn once? If you want to make money on maternity leave, have a rummage through your cupboards and see what you could sell. Whether it’s though an online marketplace or a car boot sale, you might be able to earn some extra cash when selling your unwanted cast-offs.
3) Take Freebies
While this baby budget tip won’t help you make money on maternity leave, it’ll definitely cut your costs down. If you have family and friends who already have children, they might give you a few freebies their babies have outgrown.
From toys to hand-me-down clothes, you’ll be surprised what you can find for free. Lots of mums with older children also give away their baby gear on social media or online marketplaces – it’s worth a look to see if you can nab something in great condition.
Plus, when you announce your pregnancy, your loved ones will likely want to give you some new mum gifts. Whether it’s a voucher for maternity clothes or a brand-new baby bouncer, these thoughtful gifts can really help when things are a bit tight.
4) Reuse and Recycle
Cutting back on your spending is one of the best ways to save money on the cost of a baby. But being frugal doesn’t have to be boring when there is so much you can reuse and recycle!
First of all, if this isn’t your first child, make sure to check your used baby gear and see what can be salvaged. If you have a stack of newborn clothes and toys stuffed away in the loft, make sure to check them over before you buy everything new. Providing your baby goods are clean, mould-free and in good condition, there’s no reason why you can’t use them again. If you’re recycling larger baby items, the NHS recommends getting at least a new mattress and new car seat for healthy and safety reasons.
And because it feels so good when we get our money’s worth from something, why not reuse your new baby gear too? Your baby changing bag can double up as your hospital maternity bag. Then when maternity leave is over, use it as an office bag or even as holiday luggage! You can take your recycling one step further too with reusable baby wipes and cloth nappies – although these often require a little more effort.
5) Know Your Entitlements
If you live in the UK and are eligible for statutory maternity may (SMP), you will normally be paid for up to 39 weeks when on maternity leave. For the first six weeks, you can earn 90% of your average weekly earnings (pre-tax). During the remaining 33 weeks, you’ll continue to earn this amount or £145.18 per week, depending which amount is lowest. Your place of work might also have a maternity scheme that gives you more than the statutory amount.
Don’t forget to check your other government entitlements. You might be able to make money on maternity leave through child benefits, universal credit or child tax credits.
6) Learn Your Employment Rights
As well as your SMP (which could be supplemented by your employer), you might also be able to boost your income before you go on maternity leave.
You can sometimes take your accrued holiday entitlement before going on leave. That way, mums-to-be can enjoy some paid time off without the extra costs of going to work (like commuting and lunch expenses).
In addition, you may be allowed up to 10 keeping in touch (KIT) days while on maternity leave. KIT days mean you can return to work briefly and still be paid. The extra income won't affect your maternity pay. It’s also good idea to see if your employer offers any other maternity benefits, like free childcare vouchers.
7) Join Baby Clubs
Becoming a member of an online baby club is a great way to cut costs on maternity leave – all you need to do is sign up. They’re usually free and give you access to special offers and members-only discounts. This can help save money on products you were going to buy anyway.
8) Get Online
Cashback sites and online surveys are useful for making money on maternity leave. They normally won’t supplement your income by much, but you can sometimes be paid in shopping vouchers. That'll help with all those nappies!
There’s also mystery shopping, but that might be more difficult as some vacancies require you to be child-free. Your income from online work won’t likely push you over your tax allowance limit. However, may need to declare any payments to the tax office anyway.
9) Hobbies at Home
If you have any hobbies with earning potential, you can use them to make money on maternity leave. From baking cakes to crafting jewellery, there are lots of hobbies which could boost your income. And if you have a specific skill set, you could do some freelance work in your spare time. Just be aware of any tax implications if you’re making some serious moolah.