MoneySaverSpain: Savings for mums in Spain
MoneySaverSpain offers mums some top tips on the best ways to save money when shopping for baby items in Spain, and utilising nursery vouchers.
Rather than looking at the obvious options of second-hand items (clothes) or hiring (cots, prams, car seats), we've decided to offer a round-up of some of the bricks-and-mortar stores to be found in most Spanish towns and cities and online options where you can save money either if you've got a baby on the way or already have one.
Two of the main chain stores in Spain for pregnancy and baby items are Prenatal and Chicco. However, these don't tend to be at the cheap end of the spectrum. With Prenatal you can register on their website and wait until you get a discount voucher offer by email, however at the moment Chicco doesn't have this option.
Stores such as Kiabi, C&A and H&M all offer maternity wear at affordable prices in Spain both in-store and online. Kiabi even has an 'under EUR 10' selection, which is great for summer. In order to find out when special offers are on, it's a good idea to like all three stores on Facebook. For those sites that have a newsletter you should sign up as stores will generally send you special offers by e-mail to try to encourage you to make your first order.
For items such as car seats, prams, and other large items you could take a look at Toys R Us (Babies R Us). Again sign up for their newsletter to get information on special promotions and also each month they have a selection of vouchers which you can download or get the QR code straight to your smartphone.
Don't forget to use price comparison sites for the more expensive articles. Try Kelkoo or Ciao, and, before making a decision, check for delivery costs as these may mean that the final cost is higher than buying in store, but others might offer free delivery, such as at El Corte Inglés.
For general baby items you can take a look at La Tienda de Mamá or Tu Bebé 24h. Remember that all tend to have a high threshold for free delivery, but as some items (such as nappies) can be bought in bulk this shouldn't be a problem. With eBaby by signing up for their newsletter you'll get a 5 percent discount for items in their catalogue.
For expectant mums living in the Barcelona or Madrid area, make sure you register for Caprabo‘s 'welcome baby basket', which comes with freebies and discount vouchers. The offer is only valid until your baby is one month old.
MSS Tip: One of the issues with online options in Spain is that not all sites offer a service to the Islands. So, if you live in the Balearics or Canaries, check out each site's delivery terms and conditions before looking at their prices.
How to substitute nursery vouchers for part of your wage and pay less tax in Spain
Luncheon vouchers have been around for a long time, in Spain the main ones being Ticket Restaurant or Restaurante Pass. However, what's not well known is that there also exists another voucher option that you can use to pay for your children's nursery fees. With fiscal advantages for companies and employees, it's a win-win for both.
The companies that offer the luncheon vouchers are the same ones that offer the nursery vouchers: Ticket Guardería and Guardería e-Pass. These vouchers can be paid by the company you work with under the following conditions:
- must be nominative (name of the worker, not spouse/partner);
- have to be numbered;
- cannot be transferred to another person nor exchanged for money.
In order to persuade the company where you work that they're a good idea, here are a few convincing arguments:
- Payment of part of wages in vouchers is not subject to company social security in respect of the employee.
- Cost deductible from the amount used to calculate company tax.
- Keeps employees happy!
And for the employee:
- Amount received in vouchers is not taxed, unlike wages.
- Don't need to change nursery as you can request that the nursery that your child attends joins the system.
According to the information on the website for Ticket Guardería, the typical yearly saving for a company would be EUR 170 and for the employee EUR 145. Of course, savings in tax depends on each person's income and is limited to 30 percent of annual salary. Additionally in some areas in Spain the amount cannot exceed EUR 1,000 per year (Alava, Vizcaya and Guipuzcoa).
The vouchers can either be supplied in paper, which are handed over to the nursery each month, or there's also an online paperless system.
On the company websites we've seen that they also offer a similar system for employees that use public transport, again with savings for both employer and employees. The only thing that we can't find is the actual cost for the companies involved (because nothing is free!). However, we think that if there are a few people interested where you work, why not have a chat with the Human Resources Department and start dropping a few hints – any saving can help.
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