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Six financial tips when planning to have a baby

Motherhood is an exciting and daunting time, so putting measures in place for financial security before the baby arrives can provide essential peace of mind.

Maternity and paternity pay

To claim statutory maternity or paternity pay, employees need to have been in work for at least 26 weeks by the time the baby arrives and earn over £95 a week. Companies are only required to pay 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, then 33 weeks at £123 a week or 90% of weekly wages. Those who are self-employed are entitled to a government allowance. Maternity policies vary between companies, so it is always advisable to check employment contracts or speak to the HR department.

2. Making a will

Making a will is a very important consideration, particularly for those who are not married. Having a will ensures a person’s life insurance, death in service benefit and share of the house will go to their partner if they die. It is easy to do, costs around £150 and provides important financial security.

3. Life and critical illness cover

The value of a stay-at-home parent is often overlooked, but should something happen to them, alternative care would be needed. Childcare is estimated to cost around £25,000 per year per child. Nowadays, back office systems for IFAs mean they are well positioned to identify the appropriate products.

4. Keeping track of your pension

It is not unusual for people to have more than one pension and desire consolidation. High-earning individuals nearing their annual allowance can also pay into a pension on their partner’s behalf. Many IFAs contact Intelliflo for back office systems in order to ensure they adhere to regulatory requirements when providing financial advice.

5. Planning to live on one salary

Things change after having a baby, and many people don’t want to return to work after parental leave. Childcare costs are often too high or an employer makes returning to work difficult. It is always advisable to understand employment rights, but it is also worth making arrangements, where possible, to live on one salary for at least a short period of time.

6. Savings

Conserving money is sensible in the long-term; children cost money and earning potential is likely to decrease for a period of time. It’s worth considering spending less on high-end items and saving the difference for the future.

Six of the best gifts from Ireland

Ireland is a popular travel destination for people wanting to explore history and culture. If you wish to buy yourself something memorable from the Emerald Isle or give a gift, there are so many ideas that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Whisky for friends and family

Ireland is synonymous with whisky, and a gift of one of the country’s famous brands is ideal for a friend. If they have impeccable taste, they will appreciate the grandeur of Ireland’s finest beverages such as Jameson, Tullamore, Wild Geese or Bushmills.

Gifts brought to book for loved ones

Ireland is associated with classic literature, and figures such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett are known by many scholars around the world. Books such as Ulysses bought from a traditional Irish bookshop make good gifts for the well-read. You can also buy bookmarks illustrated with quotations from many of the great Irish books.

Crystal makes a sparkling gift idea

A piece of quality crystal from either of the popular crystal companies, Galway and Waterford, will be appreciated. Crystal glasses and giftware can be found in various outlets, and they make excellent presents for those who like to display crystal in their home.

Aran sweaters keep out the chill

Aran sweaters are a great gift idea and they’re versatile and comfortable, especially during the winter months. Quality sweaters can be obtained from suppliers. Chunky, warm and long-lasting, they have recently been modelled by celebrities, which certainly adds to the appeal.

Making music with instrument gifts

Perhaps someone in your family loves music? If so, consider buying a traditional Irish instrument. Musical instruments are perfect souvenirs for children and adults. The bodhrán and whistle are perhaps two of the best-known on the island of Ireland. The Irish bodhrán is created using goatskin and can be heard in action at ceilís, which are traditional Irish get-togethers during which people dance to Irish folk music.

Lovely linen comes in the form of tea towels and aprons

One of the most famous textiles companies is Ulster Weavers which can be found in Northern Ireland. A range of high q-uality linen and textile items are produced by the company, which is well established and respected. From aprons to tea towels and other home wares, Ulster Weavers gifts can be found in most souvenir shops around Ireland.

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