Cutting back to one wage and still juggling your mortgage repayments is no mean feat.
We reveal some tips on how to protect your portfolio and stick to a budget.
Most mums-to-be are thrilled with the impending pitter-patter of little feet and a newborn baby is obviously one of life’s most important and exciting gifts.
Unfortunately for property investors, there’s not just the stress of sleepless nights and pram purchases to deal with – going down to just one wage while body corporate bills and rates keep coming in is also cause for concern.
So how do you manage and protect your portfolio during a financially difficult time?
Here are some tips, which will (hopefully) help those mums-to-be.
Set a budget
It’s not as exciting as a trip to a baby shop, but spend time minimising your outlays and costs and look into areas where you might be wasting money.
Mortgage Choice Brisbane mortgage broker Caroline Jean-Baptiste says budgets might sound boring but they could help you through the first few months of maternity leave.
She advises mums-to-be to print off six months worth of all bank and credit card statements, and then categorise every expense.
The last thing you need to think about is how to get through weeks of mortgage repayments as you’re woken at 3am every day.
Jean-Baptiste did this herself just before having her third child and swears by it.
“It showed me where money was going, how I was spending and to think about where I was spending,” she says.
“If there were five trips to the supermarket each week, I thought it was about $250 but it was more like $350 to $500 per week.”
Now Jean-Baptiste plans meals and recipes in advance to cut down costs and only buys what she needs at grocery stores.
“Figure out where your money is going and how much time you need off work. If you have a budget you’ll stop and think next time you pull your credit card out, ‘do I really need this?’”
Jane Slack-Smith of Your Property Success says parents need to plan ahead.
“Have a buffer in place,” she says.
“You might think you’ll go back to work in three months but the reality is a lot of people do extend their maternity leave.
They might only want to go back to work two or three days a week, just be prepared for that.
You might want to include a year’s worth of repayments in your savings or build up and redraw your equity before you actually have a child.”
Jean-Baptiste advises expectant mums to put aside as much as they can while still working.
“Additional savings will prepare you for unexpected expenses and provide some freedom”.