So apart from those new parents that move to regional Australia, live in a self-sufficient energy-neutral commune, most parents feel the pinch of childcare costs when returning to work after bub is born. Whether they will be on full time wages or part time/casual it still takes a bit of adjusting. so before your buy those tie-dye harem pants and move to Nimbin, we’ve gathered a few hot tips to help make sure you still have $4.00 left over for the all important coffee to get you through those days where you’ve had 3 hours sleep.
1. Adjust your expectations
Often we can be our own worse enemy. If you used to go to work and buy lunch everyday and top and tail the day with coffee or a cocktail in either order, things are going to change. You might think it’s funny to mention this, but often one or both parents struggle with this new baby thing and continue to operate as they did pre-bub. It’s a good thing to look at 3 weeks of all your spending
2. Use childcare close to home, not in the city
The price difference between childcare in a metropolitan areas can be anywhere between $30-$60 per day. Look at how you could manage drop offs and pick ups and see if it is worth your while to find a place closer to where you live.
3. Use childcare you can get a rebate on
Finding childcare is very hard. Parents who sometimes can’t get a place in childcare or can afford their own care often use nanny. If you don’t then you might want to consider ‘approved’ care. “Approved” care means that the service has been approved by the Australian Government and will allow you to be eligible under the childcare tax rebate a for 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket childcare fees for approved care, up to $7,500 per annum. Most long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care and occasional care services are ‘approved’. You can find out more through www.familyassist.gov.au. There is a also a childcare benefit. Just keep checking the website as these might be changed into a single payment next year.
4. Get creative
In NSW where the costs of childcare is high or Adelaide where availability is keeping parents from returning to work parents are getting creative about childcare. They are turning to grandparents, sharing nannies, adjusting work hours and using friends and neighbours to manage like they used to do in the olden days. Some parents use an aupair and have calculated if they have more than 1 child it’s cheaper than paying 2 lots of childcare.
5. Choose when your Childcare Tax rebate is paid.
You have the option to be reimbursed fortnightly or have the rebate paid to the childcare service so you can reduce your fees. It used to be paid at the end of each quarter. That’s a long time to wait. We changed ours fortnightly and it really helped our cash flow.
Do you have any other money saving tips for new parents?