Friday, 24 May 2019

Best parenting sidehustles to make extra cash

How the hell to earn a living, have an interesting and fulfilling career and raise kids that you actually get to see, and doing all that without childcare costs wiping out the salary... that's the money/work topic we stumble into during practically every playground mum chat.
This post isn't about capturing your dream job - it's more about a few side hustles. Easy ways to earn a few quid whilst you're doing something else. Think of them as nap-time earners that'll fund a shopping spree, rather than the mortgage, but are pretty easy to do, too.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

How much maternity pay will I get?

When we found out we were pregnant with our first babies, all the shock, excitement and queasiness, quickly gave way to ‘hold on, how are we going to afford to eat if I’m not working?’

There’s nothing like money worries to bring you back down to earth with a bump (pun intended).

Luckily, we have something called statutory maternity pay (SMP) in the UK. It’s not amazing but it’s enough to live on if you’re sensible with your spending.

You’re entitled to SMP if you’ve worked for the same employer for a minimum of 26 weeks, you earn at least £118 a week, and you’ve given your employer at least 28 days’ notice of the date you want it to start.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The best accounts for your emergency cash

Spare money. It might not be something you have tonnes of at this point in your life. Kids really know how to rinse us for all we’ve got.

But if you do find yourself with a bit of extra cash – and you’re not going to spend it on ASOS, Zara, Amazon Prime (delete as appropriate) – you might want to think about putting it into an ‘emergency’ savings pot.

This is money you can use if your boiler breaks, or your car needs a new brake light, or your kid needs a new pair of shoes.

Do I need a will?

We're always told "you never know what's around the corner" but it wasn't until our first babies were born that we actually thought 'hang on a sec... maybe it's actually time to sort out the will thing.'

OK, it's not the cheeriest topic. In fact, will chat is possibly the least cheery topic in the world... But when you have kids, a will - basically a document that will tells everyone what should happen to your money, property, and any other possessions after you die - can be vital. It can make sure your kids and anyone else who depends on you financially will be provided for. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

How to get £2000 off the cost of childcare

'If I leave the office by 4, I can get to school by 5 when play scheme ends, but then you’ll have to do drop off, so can you go in late and leave late?' 

Ahhhhhhh. Kids are a logistical nightmare. I think I’ve had this conversation with my husband a million times since my oldest started school. 

Then there’s the holidays to contend with. Six weeks in the summer. Whose bright idea was that?! 

I don't know about anyone else, but sorting childcare feels to me like a full-time job. 

During term time we rely on breakfast club (£2.50 for a piece of toast, I should set up my own), after school club, nursery (for the youngest), and football club. 

During the holidays, it's camp and grandparents. This all costs money (apart from the grandparent option. They haven't started charging...yet!). But there's an easy a way of cutting your childcare bill. 

The government will give you up to £2,000 a year per child to put towards childcare costs. Yep, free money. 

The scheme is officially called Tax-Free Childcare (ignore the really uncatchy name), which replaced the old childcare vouchers (you can't sign up to vouchers any more but if you were signed up before the scheme closed in October 2018 you can still use them). 

To get your free money, you open an account here. This is the account you'll pay your childcare provider from. For every 80p you put in, the government will add 20p. You can pay in up to £10,000 per child each year. 

To be eligible, both parents must be working and earn at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week on average and less than £100,000 including any bonuses. 

Your child must be 11 or under. You can use Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childminders, nurseries, nannies, after school clubs and playgroups as long as they are registered with the scheme.
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