Can I Afford a Baby? Affording a Baby in 2018. For many people the prospect of having a baby seems like a distant and expensive undertaking. Whilst the financial implications are not something to be taken lightly, having a baby could be more affordable than you think.
Maternity Pay / Allowance
You are entitled to take a statutory 52 weeks of time off work, however you need to have been employed with your current employer for at least 26 weeks. Usually women are entitled to 90% of the pre-tax average weekly earnings in this is for the first six week (roughly six months) after that this value decrease this amounts goes down to £145.18 for the next 33 weeks. It is worth noting that this is the minimum amount and that’s employees may offer more generous packages.
If you’re self-employed the maternity allowance works slightly differently. To claim a maternity allowance when self-employed – you need to have been working and paying National Insurance contributions for 13 of the 66 weeks before the baby is due. You can could receive £145.18 a week for upto 39 weeks.
For more information, visit the governments website.
Paternity claimants can receive up to £145.18 a week however this is limited to a maximum of two weeks. It is possible for a mother to share her maternity leave with a partner if certain eligibility criteria are met. You can check this using the parental leave calculator.
You’re entitled to claim child benefits which amounts to £20.70 per week for your first child and £13.70 for each additional child. However if you or your partner are lucky enough to earn more than £50,000 per year this will be subject to tax. You may also be eligible to receive a £500 Sure Start Maternity Grant usually relevant if having your first child.
Buying Baby Stuff
It is claimed that on average parents save roughly £1,000 for parent for the first child you need this amount saved beforehand to purchase baby stuff. this includes:
On average you can expect to spend Over £9,000 during the first 12 months on misc baby items. It is possible to cut down on these items for a baby on a budget. Babies grow fast and many of these items may be short lived. If you’re able to obtain second-hand items this could really help to put down the cost for example if you have friends or family that I have recently had children he may be able to.
Returning to work
When your maternity leave is over you and your partner need to decide on what’s next i.e. returning to work or staying at home. Sacrificing a salary may be difficult however the alternative is paying for childcare. If choosing to stay at home instead of re-entering your career; studies have shown that women are paid 33% less than men in similar roles. The amount in your pension pot may also be lower.
Childcare in the UK is particularly expensive. On average you can expect to pay Between 200 and £300 per week for childminders on nursery. This figure is significantly more for childcare in London. You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government and your employers, when your child is 3 years old you may be entitled to 570 hours of free childcare.
Alternatives To Paying Full-time Childcare
You have the legal right to request flexible working from your employer. This means you could avoid paying full-time childcare costs. Flexible working could mean working from home starting and finishing at a more convenient time or even working part-time. Employers do not necessarily have to accept your request however they have the legal right to considerate it. You may also be able to ask friends and family to help instead of paying for childcare.
When thinking of having a baby it’s a good idea to save some money beforehand to help with costs. Whilst there is no ideal amount to save, trimming back on expenses such as unused gym memberships TV packages etc is a good way to go. Create a budget and stick to it. Having this money saved will provide you with a comfortable cushion should you need it, but try not to worry – you’ll make it work!
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