Saturday, 12 May 2012

Baby bonus bewilderment

Today marks my first day off the pill. So things are starting to become real – very real! Now we need to have the conversation about the likely time junior will arrive and whether we take the Federal Government’s paid parental scheme option or the baby bonus option. In all my reading about it I found out that you can be financially better off on one than the other. Given I have never qualified for any government funding before, this was a whole new world to me.

After trawling through a few websites, I found a calculator that helps you figure it out – although you need to know all the details of yours and your partner’s salary and leave intentions. You can find it at

Now, I must admit, I threw in a few random dates to figure it all out and I’m not sure that was helpful. If we assume I get pregnant first go and have the baby in April 2013, in the 2012/2013 financial year we’re better off on the baby bonus but in the 2013/2014 financial year we’re better off on paid parental leave. That leaves us in a bit of a predicament as we can’t choose both!

Changing the dates so the baby would be born in July, coinciding with the start of the financial year, we would be better off on paid parental leave. Now you might figure it’s all much of a muchness but in this scenario, we were better off to the tune of $4000. Now if that’s an extra $4000 in my pocket while I’m not working, than I’ll take it!

Hence, it creates a bit of confusion! But in all reality, there’s no point doing this until you’re actually pregnant and know when you’re baby is due. There’s also no point unless your partner can tell you how much leave he is planning on taking. So it was an interesting exercise to do, just to try and understand it all. But we’ll be leaving any decisions until there’s a baby to make a decision about. As the reality of the situation is if there’s no baby, there’s no choice to make!

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