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Join the experts at MoneyforMums to discuss the best ways to take control of your family finances once your baby arrives.

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  • Hello!
    Sarah here from MoneyforMums, I'm looking forward to answering your questions on baby budgeting.
    Sarah

  • Hi, can you tell me how I can make cheap desserts that are relatively healthy that I can serve to a 1 year old and an 8 year old? thank you
  • Hi Poetgirl,
    Though recipes aren't my forte, as a mum of 2 here's a couple of ideas my girls love these:
    As an alternative to expensive ice lollies, try freezing bananas and strawberries then dip them in chocolate sauce. Or how about setting fruit in sugar free jelly, then topping off with creme freche instead of cream, its a great way of getting kids to eat fruit and your 8yr old can get involved and help you make it.
    Hope that's useful
    Sarah
  • Hi Sarah
    I am just pregnant with my first child. I understand I will get ??250 for a Trust Fund. Firstly how do I get it? And secondly where would you recommend I put it? Are there some places better than others? Thanks in advance.
  • Hi Natalie,
    Firstly, fantastic that you're planning your finances early on.
    The first thing to do is to take stock of your financial situation now, your income, household spending, work expenses etc. This will give you the chance to see where you're spending money now and will give you an opportunity to cut back e.g. don't spend on new work clothes or you could cut back that coffee on the way to work. Then think how spending patterns will change when you have the baby, you won't be paying for travel to and from work and you can plan mealtimes so you'll eat out less. Something you can do now, is pay off any outstanding debts / loans / credit cards also it may be a good time to review your mortgage deal whilst you're still at work. Work out your budget with your partner and stick to it! Don't be tempted to buy a lot of specialist equipment you might not use, talk to relatives or other mums and find out what you really need.
    There's a handy budgeting tool on www.moneyformums.co.uk which will prompt you to think about the key things.
    Good luck!
    Sarah
  • Hello Sarah,
    I have heard mention of a pregnancy grant but everyone I talk to thinks it is a different amount and I am not sure when you can apply for it. Can you clear this up for me?
    Thanks!
  • Oh yes I'm interested about the pregnancy grant also, is if for healthy eating or something? Thanks

  • Hi Little Emi,
    Congratulations!
    You are right, this is the ??250 Child Trust Fund voucher, You will receive it a few weeks after you claim child benefit for your newborn. And the money is to be used to start up a trust fund for your child which they can access when they are 18 years old. You have to place it in a special Child Trust Fund account (you can't just put it in the bank) and when you receive your voucher you will receive a list of places where you can invest it.

    You have a choice over how you want your child's money invested, for example, in cash like a deposit account or in shares - you can even chose an ethical fund. But all Child Trust Fund providers have to offer what's called a "stakeholder" account which has to abide by certain rules and this is the one the government will put you into if you don't open the account within the year's expiry.

    Let me know if you need any more info.

    Sarah
  • Help! I'm not sure I'll qualify for my company's maternity pay scheme, how much is statutory and is there anything else I might be entitled to? Thanks
  • Hi Natmaz

    The ??250 is for your child not for you and your partner so doesn't take into account income.

    However, it is worth pointing out that you may still be eligible for some benefits even at your joint income level. For example, couples may be able to claim working/child tax credits even if they are earning in the region of ??50,000 as long as they have dependent children in child care while they are in full time work. Also, of course, child benefit is not means tested and so is available to everyone.

    Sarah
  • Hello Franticmum,

    Hopefully I can clear up the Health In Pregnancy Grant for you. It launched in April 2009 and is a one-off payment of ??190 paid to pregnant mums after their 25th week of pregnancy provided you are receiving health advice from a midwife or doctor. It is used to help meet extra costs in the latter stages of pregnancy and is the same amount for everyone. Your midwife should give you a claim form at your 25 week health check or you can call the Health in Pregancy Grant helpline on 0845 366 7885 and they can send one out.

    Hope this helps

    Sarah
  • Thank you for that Sarah. I can tell all my friends the exact details now. Are there set things it has to be spent on or is it completely up to me?
  • Hi Bubblz

    Thanks for your question about the ??500 Sure Start maternity grant which is available to mums on benefits such as income support and jobseekers allowance. The grant is based on income rather than where you live.

    You can claim it from the 29th week of pregancy up until your baby is 3 months old. If you are waiting for other benefit claims, make sure you do claim for this one because it can always be back-accessed.

    Contact your Jobcentre Plus and ask for form SF100.

    regards

    Sarah
  • Hi Leakyloolah

    In a nutshell you should be able to claim Statutory Maternity Pay from your employer before and after the birth of your baby as long as you have been in continuous employment with your employer for at least 26 weeks and you earn at least ??95 a week.


    If you are eligible you should receive 90% of your average pay for the first 6 weeks and then statutory maternity pay of ??123 after that.

    See www.moneyformums.co.uk for more info on full eligibility.

    Sarah
  • Hi Franticmum

    The health in pregnancy grant is designed to help contribute towards the additional set up costs of having a baby such as buying a cot or travel to and from hospital.

    But you can spend it on what ever you wish!

    Sarah
  • Today's webchat has now finished.

    Thank you for all your questions and thank you to Sarah Price at MoneyforMums.co.uk for your informative answers.

    For more information on money matters surrounding all aspects of parenthood log onto: www.moneyformums.co.uk.
  • Thank you everyone for your interesting questions. It was great fun talking to you all.

    I am sorry I didn't have time to answer everyone's questions but if you want a summary of what help you might be eligible for as a pregnant or new mum, log onto www.moneyformums.co.uk where you can also sign up for regular baby budgeting bulletins.

    Thanks again

    Sarah





    [Modified by: MoneyforMums on August 03, 2009 01:11 PM]

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