How to make extra money while on maternity leave
The average cost of a new baby is £5,464 in the first year of their child’s life – increasing by four per cent to £5,666 for those living in London.
It’s obviously excludes the cost of living, and any childcare required to raise the child, so it’s easy to see how money can be tight for new mums in maternity leave.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), which is paid for up to 39 weeks is just £136.78 per week for 39 weeks, or 90% of your weekly pay, the same amount as maternity allowance (for those who qualify). Without a spouse or partner who earns good money to cover the household bills, at least, things can get a little hairy on the finance side, to say the least.
So, what can mums do to earn some extra cash while on maternity leave? Here are some ideas:
1. Get smart with your time
The average baby s,eels 16 hours a day (and some sleep much more), and while its a good idea to sleep when baby sleeps in the dearly days, to hello you balance out those night feeds, after a while you’ll realise that you actually d t need to.
If you keep on top of your chores and set yourself a timetable of what needs to be do e everyday, you’ll soon start to realise that there are at least a couple of hours a day that are often daydreamed away. This is the time that you can use to earn extra cash from home.
2. The law on working while receiving maternity pay
Before you take up a second job and lose your maternity pay (even though its minuscule as it is!), one thing to bear in mind is what the law says about working while receiving maternity pay. A few years ago, the government introduced Keep in Touch Days, which are 10 days you can work for your employer, or as a self-employed person. If you work any more than this, you must not collect payment, otherwise your maternity pay or maternity allowance could be cancelled and (even worse), you may be required to pay back the money for the number of days you worked.
3. So what can you do?
If you work smartly, however, you can see that 10 days of work (80 hours for a full-time 8-hour day) can be spread out neatly across your maternity leave. And if your skills and expertise command a high hourly rate, you could get some much-needed extra cash by freelancing your skills on websites like Peopelperhour.com.
4. Start selling
Websites like eBay and Amazon can be a great place to sell unwanted items, and they’re also a great place to sell things at wholesale or by dropshipping.
Dropshipping can be quite a money spinner if you find a product that sells well, and a dropshipper who gives good profit margins. All you’ll have to do is list it on eBay, and the dropshipper will post the item out to your buyers, leaving you to pocket the profit.
5. Direct selling
If you’d like to get out and about, and get social ( a great way to lose that baby weight), you could try direct selling – Avon, Kleeneze, Jamie at Home…there’s something out there for everyone. Make sure you don’t invest more than £200 in any startup kits – any programme that requires this of you is unlikely to be a member of the Direct Selling Association (www.dsa.org.uk), and could be risky.
With a new baby in your life, the last thing you’re probably thinking of is adding more children into the mix, but if you’ve got your nighttime routines working, you could help out other parents out and earn some extra cash in the process.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.