Everything I read says it’s sooo expensive to have kids.
I don’t believe this has to be true, but right now I can only speak with any credibility on what the costs are to prepare for having a baby.
As of yesterday I’m officially full term, and we’re ready (in terms of material things at least!)
Here’s a breakdown of our baby related expenses so far:
The Big Ones:
Medical Costs: $1800. (Out of pocket max + deductible)
The Small Ones That Really Add Up:
Cloth Diapers & Accessories: $300. This includes diaper covers, pre-folds, cloth wipes, diaper pail (a.k.a. plain garbage pail from Target), and washable liner bags. I got some diapers off craigslist, but got overwhelmed with looking so ended up buying most of them new from Peapods and Green Mountain Diapers
Maternity Clothes: $200. I actually spent more than this but subtracted a little based on the average amount I spent on clothes in pre-pregnancy months (not very much!). My maternity wardrobe consists of all my regular pants held up by a BeBand, a pair of leggings from Motherhood Maternity, 4 dresses, 7 tops, 3 t-shirts, and 2 nursing bras that I may return if they don’t fit well post-partum. None of the tops or dresses were “maternity” specific and I’ll be able to wear them after baby, so the real cost is a little subjective.
Dresser: $125. A large, newly refinished, solid wood, great condition dresser from craigslist, delivered free of charge from about 50 miles away. We looked around for awhile, including at places like Ashley Furniture and Slumberland, which were selling same size crappy particle board dressers for $300+, plus $80 delivery charge. We also sold some furniture on craigslist to convert the 2nd bedroom to a baby room, maybe $100 worth, so the real cost of this is subjective also.
Baby Prep Classes: $115. We took one class we had to pay $55 for and the rest through the awesome non-profit Childbirth Collective, which is donation based.
Other Random Stuff: Consigned bouncy chair & some clothes ($15), Glider from craigslist ($10), Adorable Froggie Hamper ($20 – I’m not completely immune to falling for cutesy baby decorations!) , Diaper Bag from craigslist ($25), Moby Wrap ($40), Books – The Birth Partner and Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth ($20, both recommended!), Pink Curtain ($20, which will serve as a closet door instead of the ugly heavy dark wood foldout one that was there).
Grand Total: $3,300
If we skipped the doula and some of the nicer and not completely necessary items, we could’ve saved about $1,000. But, we are neither extreme minimalists nor dirt poor, so we spent more than we needed to.
All other major baby items (crib, car seat and stroller, changing table, bassinet, clothes) were gifts or hand-me-downs.
My biggest piece of advice for saving money on baby stuff: Get as much as you can used, then register for the rest at somewhere like Target where it’s easy for people to buy off the registry AND easy to return registry items. Then be sure to return anything that you don’t really need!
$3,300 is a lot of money for us, but worth it for what people say will probably be the most important event in our lives.
Most women, even those way, way in debt, are wearing well over $3,300 on their left hands and probably spent many times that paying for the day the ring got put there.
So, comparatively, I feel like our money has been well spent and that we haven’t strayed too far from our frugal values.