BECOMING A MĀMĀ – THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU GO ON PARENTAL LEAVE
Becoming a parent is an important time in your life – not only because your little pēpi will cost a lot of pūtea over their lifetime. Are you ready for the costs involved with becoming a māmā? Here are some things we think you should consider and some great places to go to get more information.
Having a pēpi can be expensive! Have you considered:
- Signing up for Smart Start. Head to https://smartstart.services.govt.nz/ and sign up and this will allow you access to a bunch of tools and financing including Best Start payments, advice on pregnancy and so much more! You can also apply for an IRD number and birth certificate for your pēpi from here. Also did you know all families, regardless of income, receive money for the first year of their child’s life from the Best Start program. Best Start payments from the Government allow you $65 a week for your pēpi to help with nappies and milk or anything you need! You won’t qualify while you’re on parental leave but as soon as this period is over you will receive this money. Are you aware that Parental leave in Aotearoa is now 26 weeks – or half a year! Find out how much you might qualify for at www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/parental-leave/eligibility/.
- If you are working before pēpi you may potentially be able to keep in touch with your work by doing ‘Keeping in touch’ hours – you can get a little extra money from when pēpi is 8 weeks old. Talk to your employer and then find out more here – https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/parental-leave/types-of-parental-leave/keeping-in-touch-days-2/.
- Having a pēpi can be expensive! Consider Trade Me or secondhand shops for some of your larger purchases. You do need to make sure your capsule or car seat hasn’t been involved in an accident though. Find out more here – https://www.plunket.org.nz/being-a-parent/preparing-for-your-baby/car-seats/about-child-restraints/.
- The Well Child Tamariki Ora service provides care and support for whānau as well as free health checks for pēpi through their first few years of life. Find our more here – https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/well-child-tamariki-ora-programme
- Plunket has a lot of great information about what you might need or not need! https://www.plunket.org.nz/being-a-parent/preparing-for-your-baby/baby-equipment/baby-essentials/ covers a lot of basic but useful information.
- Crayon is a new website to help parents through some of the challenges of having tamariki. They have a great article on how to manage credit card debt during parental leave – https://www.gocrayon.com/resources/managing-credit-card-debt-on-parental-leave. We also like this article on navigating some of the challenges around parental leave – https://www.gocrayon.com/resources/what-you-dont-expect-when-youre-expecting.
- KiwiSaver can be tricky on parental leave so check out this article from OhBaby! https://www.ohbaby.co.nz/parenting/your-money-matters/kiwisaver-hacks-for-maternity-leave. Anything you can contribute during this time can be helpful long term.
Plunket’s top tips (these are also money tips!!)
- If you’re buying new, don’t pay full price – buy bigger more expensive items like strollers, car seats, and cots on special.
- Start buying things like wipes, nappies, soft facecloths and other necessities each time you go grocery shopping. This means you’ll have a stock once your baby arrives. Look for specials and buy in bulk where you can.
- Borrow items where you can. You can borrow baby beds like basinettes, or wahakura until your child is too big for them, and then return them. Think about joining a toy library rather than buying lots of toys.
- If friends want to throw you a baby shower, think about what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for specific things – or simply ask for vouchers so you can buy once you know what you need.
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