{Book Review} How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby: 101 Ways to Ease the Financial Strain

Becky Goddard-Hill (@babybudgeting) is one of my Twitter friends and she kindly sent me a copy of her book to review.  Becky also runs a howtoaffordtimeoffwithyourbaby.com which has some wonderful family budgeting ideas.

I wish I’d had this book when I was pregnant or even trying to get pregnant.  To say that I was clueless about having a baby and the impact it would have on our lives financially is a complete understatement.  We’d spent nearly two years trying to get pregnant, so when I did instantly on our honeymoon it was somewhat of a welcome surprise!

The first time it was apparent that maybe we weren’t prepared was when I was 6 months pregnant and I was looking around the nursery that my office overlooked. There I was oooing and ahhhing over the lovely baby room as I was determined to go back to work 6 months after the baby arrived. Then I asked how much it was a month, thinking somewhere about £350 would be reasonable.  I was stunned when the lady came back with £860 plus nappies & formula – our mortgage at the time was only £600!.  I was earning £1200 and my work was a daily 60 mile round trip, so my petrol was about £300 a month plus my lunch and other little expenses meant I’d be working for nothing.  So we decided I’d be a Stay at Home Mum, and care for our baby for a couple of years – all well and good until hubby was made redundant when Miss L was 6 weeks old.  Suddenly our savings were far too small, because we’d both always had well paid jobs it had never occurred to us that we might not have money coming in at all.  It was a steep learning curve but a good life lesson, since then we have made sure we have 3-6 months of salary in the bank and tried to keep the credit cards down.

But How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby goes much further than the obvious that we’ve adopted.  It’s a great resource for adjusting to the drop in family income you have when a baby comes along.  Becky has covered everything from working out your maternity allowances, a guide to the various benefits, what you really need to buy for a baby, when to buy food cheaply in the supermarkets (I will now be shopping after 9pm!)  how to easily save without thinking about it (cancelling a direct debit? – just move the money straight into a saving account instead!).  The chapters I could have really done with are the ones on getting out and about with your baby on a budget. I’d never heard of mother and baby groups and had no idea they existed. Frankly they would have saved my sanity when Miss L was little,  I ‘d go for weeks without seeing anyone to talk to.  I was too scared to spend any money on going out other than to the park and to do the week’s shopping.  There’s also an excellent chapter about making money as a Stay at Home parent, and one about how to afford nursery and pre-school care which can help massively if you are trying to start your own business and work from home.

I think this is a great resource for parents to be and I’ll be buying a copy for my friends who are thinking about starting families and some of the ones who have already!

I have 2 copies to give away to Violet Posy readers, leave me a comment before 10th January to enter and I’ll do a random number generator to decide the winners – Good Luck!.

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16 Comments

  1. Heres to saving hard and being frugal when the pitter patter arrives. We will be looking at all options when the time comes and hope your book will give us the info we need to make the right decision for us

  2. This sounds like such a wonderfully helpful book! Very cool that you were asked to review it. Thanks for passing along your thoughts on it. I’d love to get a closer look into her book.

  3. Hi Liz! I just wanted to let you know that I finally found the perfect place for the Spin Collective decal I won back in May. I put the decal on my mirror in the bathroom (we did tons of work on the bathroom over the holidays.) I thought you might want to check it out.

    The book sounds very interesting. We made HUGE changes to our lives so I could stay home with our daughter. It was totally worth it.

  4. Great review. This sounds like a great book, I am hoping to be able to stay at home for 12 months but it all depends how long we can last on savings etc.. x

  5. As the main breadwinner it looks like i will have to go back to work alot sooner than i would like after our first baby arrives in June so any tips that might help me stay with my baby a bit longer are great news. If i don’t win a copy i’ll try and find some money to spare as it sounds like i’ll save teh outlay in other ways.

  6. I’m back at work, although part time, but both hubbie and I would like to reduce hours without reducing our lifestyle too much! Would be interested if there were any tips we could use.

  7. I could have done with this to focus a bit of my brain on finances instead of dreams… We adopted our family & the content would probably work for adoptive families where, once a match is approved, you can go from 0-60 in a relatively short space of time….

  8. We’re thinking about trying for another, I wonder why sometimes when Amy is doing her best spawn of the devil impression, I think any advice about money when you have a child is a good thing! It’s so hard to put things in perspective when it has anything to do with your baby 🙂

  9. Thanks for the review – looks like a great book. I’m desperate to have as much time at home with my boys, but still keen to enjoy life. Looks like this would be a great resource.

  10. Pingback: Enjoy The Ride » Happy New Year and some money saving tips