Things to consider when taking parental leave

The prospect of becoming a parent is both exciting and overwhelming. With so many things to look forward to, worrying about money is the last thing you want to be doing. By having an idea of what to expect financially, you can worry less and enjoy the experience of parenthood.

Your super

It’s a sad fact that women’s super balances are considerably lower than men’s because women take extended periods of time out of the workforce to raise a family – and during this time won’t be receiving any super. 

That’s why it’s so important to keep contributions – no matter how small – coming in to your super. 

Whenever you’re able to, make some voluntary contributions into your super. 

As a new parent, coffee is probably your best friend, but you probably won’t be buying a coffee each day like you did when working, so why not direct what you’d usually spend per week on your takeaway coffee into your super? You’d be amazed how it adds up!

Your spouse or partner can even make contributions into your account – plus they could get a spouse tax offset by doing this and that way you’re still growing your super.

Adapting to a single income

The financial impact of having only one income is a big factor in determining how long you can take off work.

To work out how long you can take off work, start by making a list of all your expenses, such as: 

  • Housing
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Phone and internet
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Transport 
  • Health services
  • Insurance
  • Education and childcare 
  • Leisure and entertainment

Then include any additional expenses associated with having a baby - some of the big-ticket items include a cot, car seat, pram and change table. If it’s not your first child, chances are that you may already have these items. Otherwise, these days it’s easy to find things second-hand or at reduced prices on community web pages, local classifieds and overstock websites.

In each category, work out where you can make savings – it pays to shop around to find the best price for energy, utilities, insurance and phone. 


If you have insurance cover through your super, check whether you’re still covered during parental leave

  • If you have private health cover, find out how soon you need to add your baby to the policy
  • Check your private health cover policy and the inclusions in relation to obstetrics so you don’t have any nasty surprises 

See whether you’re eligible for any government assistance

Do some research to find out what your entitlements are in relation to:

Research whether you are eligible for any government assistance

Returning to work and childcare

There are various government subsidies to help people returning to work, and you may be eligible for one, so it’s worth visiting the Government’s website to see whether you can get any financial support from the government.

The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.