Taken time off to start a family? Look at ways to reorganise your finances.
Have you taken time off to welcome a baby? You might be wondering how to reorganise your finances as you think about returning to work.
We’ve put together a simple guide to help.
Knowing what financial assistance you could be eligible for and knowing the costs of childcare can help you reset your budget if you’re planning on returning to work. Keep in mind you can usually take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave from your employer if you’ve completed 12 months of service.
If you were eligible for paid parental leave from your employer for a period of time and that has ended, you may be able to claim government support. Find out what government support you may be eligible for including an income support payment, such as the Parenting Payment, for example.
If you’re planning on returning to work soon, you’ll need to think about child care options. Do you have family or a friend who could help? If you have a partner, you might be able to split your working days? Or could you split your work days and child minding with a friend who also has a young child?
Now is also a good time to look at which childcare providers are near you and ask whether you need to get on any waiting lists before you’re able to take your child. Factor in the cost of childcare to your budget. You can also see whether your employer offers the option to salary sacrifice childcare costs. This could be a tax-effective way of paying for childcare as it reduces your taxable income.
If you plan to return to work part time, your salary and other entitlements may be pro-rata, which means they are proportional to the days you work. Consider talking to your employer about what flexible work arrangement they offer to help make returning to work choices. See if you’re eligible for the Child Care Subsidy or the Additional Child Care Subsidy.
If you’re planning on returning to work after taking some time off, you may want to look at how time off has impacted your super and whether it would be worthwhile taking some steps to boost it back up. It’s important to think about where any extra money is best spent, for example, if you’re saving to buy a home, you may want to wait until you’ve purchased a property before boosting your super.
For more information, take a look at ASIC MoneySmart’s guide on having a baby. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are struggling with the challenges of pregnancy or becoming a parent, seek help.
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) has a Mental Health Checklist for Expecting and New Parents. It’s an anonymous online tool to help you assess your emotional wellbeing and seek help if you need it.
This guide contains general information to support you as you build your financial fitness. It doesn’t consider your personal circumstances and isn't financial advice. The information is true at the time of publishing.