Self Employed!? Five Ways To Prepare For Maternity Leave!
Hello friends! Today I want to share a post for my self employed friends out there! As you know I’ve been on maternity leave (and still am, but I still like to jump on for fun!) And today I want to share five things you need to do to prepare for maternity leave. Here in the UK we generally take around 9 months off and honestly, I was NOT prepared for how little I would get done post-baby and also how REAL baby brain is! It’s intense! I can’t recommend that you do as much as possible in the lead up to having your baby and the are my five things I honestly can’t recommend enough! Ladies, let’s go!
Apply for self employed maternity leave pay
First up, this is not something I’ve never heard anyone talk about but there is maternity leave pay for us self employed folk. Depending on your national insurance contributions, it’s either £27 a week or £156.66 a week and you get this for 39 weeks. You can find out more on the government website, you will need a maternity allowance note (MATB1 certificate) from your midwife (you will be given this) and you will need to apply either before the baby is both or up to 3 months after you give birth. Anything after that and you will loose out on payments. Also, the forms are INTENSE, I found them so hard that I had to get my boyfriends help with them. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s baby brain, but I would recommend doing them before you have the baby, not after and set aside at least an hour to do them and if you aren’t super confident with forms, ask your partner to help. They are quite intimidating forms!
Also as part of your self employed maternity pay you get 10 ‘keep in touch’ day. Use them wisely!!!!!
Get your pensions in check
I know I bang on about pensions a LOT, but they are mega important if you are self employed, if you already have a pension and you pay a hefty chunk into it every month, consider if you can afford to pay so much in and reduce down your payments, and if you don’t already have one, make sure you start it and just pay in £10 a month (which is the minimum amount). I promise you, once you have a baby, you feel a lot more cautious with money and you will want to get your cash in order for the baby. Also, you can name your partner or your child as a beneficiary if anything happens to you, so it acts as a back up life insurance policy, or if you get seriously ill, it will entitle you to access the money early to live on.
If you don’t already have a pension, I recommend Pension Bee which is great for us self employed folk as it allows you to open one without a financial advisor and it’s really easy to set up. Use my refer a friend link and we both get a £50 bonus.
Do your tax return
Again, I can’t recommend this enough!!! Once you have the baby, baby brain will kick in EVEN harder and I promise you will wish you had done your tax return earlier. Either file your tax return early, or have it ready to file, or just get everything as up to date as possible. I promise you, the last thing you want to be stressing about is a tax return with a new baby!
Batch create content ahead & streamline what you do
Let’s be honest here, we ALL create a lot of content that doesn’t really do much for us, so my advice is streamline what you do and batch create as much content as possible in the lead up to having the baby. That way you have content going up whilst you are away and you don’t have to worry about it. Also, if you can create evergreen content which works hard for you over a long period of time, that’s also an amazing thing to do! Oh and if you have any scheduling tools, put them to use!
Remind yourself that done is better than perfect
If you are a perfectionist, remind yourself that done is better than perfect. Make peace with the fact that your photos might not be 100% up to scratch and 90% is better than nothing! Let’s be honest, you are probably the only one who’s going to notice the difference anyway!
Ta da! And there we have it! Self Employed!? Five Ways To Prepare For Maternity Leave! I REALLY hope this post is of help, if you have any questions, please do let me know! This post contains a refer a friend link.