With a baby on the way your mind goes into overdrive about all kinds of different things and what will change. One of the main things we are thinking about - if not the VERY main thought - is money and saving. Our plan is that I will be off for a year as it is only 13 weeks leave you have to take unpaid which we can save up for and in our minds, the most important thing is the baby and how long it spends with it's mummy. You will never get that first year back and so if it is possible to be off then we will do it. I have friends who haven't been able to take nearly as much maternity leave because of money or circumstances and have been so unhappy when it comes to going back to work as three months or whatever the short time frame has been has just not been long enough. It's even worse if your baby has been unwell or is still not settled into a routine. I want to spend as much time with my child as I possibly can and want to be there if they're unwell or not very good at sleeping. If I am not working and baby isn't sleeping well then I can see to them while my husband gets a good night's sleep ready for work the next day.
As of this month we have the 20 week scan so are going to start buying stuff - obviously all the furniture etc will start to be bought but also the little things you don't always think of such as baby wipes, nappies, washing powder, formula and all those things you will need and use a lot of without even realising. We don't put the car in the garage as it is too big so the garage will become a mini Mothercare by the time baby arrives next March!
After the birth, the next big conundrum will be what to do about work as my job is full time. It is something we have to think about long and hard to make sure we know what we can afford so we don't struggle. We have started doing little things to help us out throughout the year like paying bills we usually pay monthly by direct debit, in full to get it cleared and out of the way for the year. I have just done it with the car insurance and we are also looking to do it with the TV licence (which OK, to be fair isn't a big monthly outgoing but it all adds up) Our sofa finance ends next month which gives us back £25 a month so just by getting rid of those three direct debits we will have an extra £80 a month. It is worth skinting yourself out for a short amount of time to cut your monthly outgoings down for the year! It does also, in some cases save you more money, for example my insurance was around £440 a year but my direct debit intallments came to £45 a month which works out more expensive. By paying it off in one lump sum I have saved myself money, I can forget about it for a year and can now know I have an extra £45 in my bank every month. Another little thing is I have a £50 overdraft, not much at all but when I go into it, I get charged a £1 up to £20 for being in it even though it is authorised! So that is coming off too to save me owing my bank £20 every month.
Can't beleive I am writing such sensible words to be honest! I am not very good at getting money organised, we always have good ideas and good intentions but then we spend money! All the things listed above though are sensible and should have been done ages ago. Even the car tax has been paid for a year when usually we only do 6 months, just gives you one less thing to think about for a year. We have realised we can't just spend spend spend anymore, we have to think of the future and have to save a bit too.
Time to grow up!
Time to grow up!