Whatever your financial situation happens to be, by the time your new family member arrives you can be sure there’ll be plenty of unexpected changes. But what do you do if you find your finances stretched too far? It might be time to look into some of the financial assistance options available, after all, there’s no point struggling along needlessly if financial support is available to help make ends meet. Here are some of the options that might be available to you depending on your circumstances.
Working For Families
Working for families is a government assistance package that helps working families get by. It provides extra money, by way of tax credits, in four different ways:
- Family tax credit
- In-work tax credit
- Minimum family tax credit
- Parental tax credit
These four payment types are variations on a theme, so to find out which one you might be eligible for, head to the IRD website where the differences between them are laid out. They also have calculators that make it simple to figure out how much, if any, extra money you might be able to get. And it’s worth a look, because the thresholds include families earning up to $100,000 per year. If you’re making $70,000 or less there’s a very good chance you and your family can benefit by way of a little extra cash to get you by. What’s more, you may also be able to claim more than one of these tax credits.
Paid parental leave
For eligible working mums, paid parental leave is another government funded payment designed to help fill the income gap left when taking time off work to care for a new baby. Currently, the government offers up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave (it was extended from 14 to 16 weeks in April 2015), and you can find out more about it by visiting this page on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. In some cases the mum can choose to assign some or all of the paid parental leave to their partner if they’re going to be the one taking on the stay-at-home duties.
In addition to straight out financial support, home help is available from the government for people that have had a multiple birth, adopted three or more children and a range of other specific circumstances.
For kids under 5 years old you might be able to get between 9 and 50 hours of pre-school childcare per week. The exact amount depends on if you’re working, studying, training or caring for a child in hospital and so on. It is also dependent other pre-school subsidies you may be using. There are many ins and outs — too many to go into here — so to find out more about this and other childcare subsidies, see the Work And Income website.
20 hours a week
If you’re a little further along the track and have a three or four year-old entering pre-school, you’re eligible for up to 20 hours per week of subsidised early childhood education from the Ministry of Education.
Pop into our forum for tips from BNZ Community members on how to go down to one income when baby arrives, and leave your own to help others in the same situation.