Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Financial Blows and a Baby On the Way

In the past few weeks we have had some serious financial set backs...that we weren't really anticipating.  My car broke down, our garage door broke and the doctors office just gave us our bill for the OB visits and ultrasound (it needs to be paid in full by month #7 before the baby comes). The combo of these delightful surprises was enough to make us cut into our "house" savings account. Then we were quoted (by about a million childcare centers)  ~$400 a week for part time child care for both my children. Go ahead... you can faint at that amount. I just about did. Obviously we are looking into alternative solutions.

All this money..that seems to be distributed to everyone else but me... had me thinking about the upcoming costs of the new baby. Any online search will tell you that having a baby is ridiculously expensive. However I am convinced that it doesn't have to be that way (minus child care if your not planning to stay home and actual birth medical costs...I don't see any way around those two). 

With my daughter, we spent almost nothing on her. Both my husband and I  come from huge extended families, and everyone was oh so generous. We also got our fair share of hand-me-downs and gifts from friends. Other items were purchased from 2nd hand shops. But diapers and some formula to supplement my nursing were major budget busters. We also lived with my parents... which saved us a ton of money!

This time around, I hope to spend very, very little.  We saved almost everything from our daughter's baby days, so we aren't anticipating any major upfront costs. 

What we already have
  • Crib/ mattress
  • Bassinet (purchased before we got the pack and play...and I hated it!)
  • Pack and play
  • High chair
  • Broken swing
  • Umbrella stroller
  • Car seat
  • Lots of pink blankets
  • Lots of girl clothes
  • Pump
  • Bottles 
  • Toys
So here I am making a list of what we need/want for this baby and anticipated costs.
  • Diaper bag- $0 (I plan to use a tote I already have that will function sufficiently) 
  • Baby carrier- $5 (This seems like a must have item, when I have a preschooler to chase after- we got a Baby Bjorn in good shape at a garage sale!)
  • Baby clothes -$30-$40 (Because we are having a BOY!- We are hoping for some hand-me-downs and then we will hit up garage sales and thrift stores for most of the rest)
  • Not-broken baby swing- Up to $65 (We are hoping to fix our broken one, but the outcome isn't looking great right now. I searched out the 2nd hand stores and found that it will cost about $65. This seems like a frivolous purchase, but was such a life saver with my daughter- I can't imagine not having one)
  • Pacifiers-$8
  • Cloth diapers- Up to $80 (This is based on if I can convince my husband it's a good idea. He is currently rather resistant to the idea. Right now I am checking out options like Sunbaby and Assunta brands as well as sites like: Re-Diaper, for the more expensive brands. )
I am also hoping to nurse as long as possible and food process baby food (which I did some of with #1). 

My most likely very low estimate of upfront baby costs comes out to be: $198

How do you save money on baby costs? What are things that you think are essential and what do you think are frivolous purchases?


  1. I might wait a bit on the swing, and see how it goes. We "had to have" one for our son, mostly because everyone told us it was a lifesaver... and then he hated it. I found out later that (gasp) babies are different, so the baby-wisdom that works for "all" really works for "most" ! all your other ideas sound great-- good luck!!

  2. Thanks! I appreciate the comment:) I might try out my broken one (you just have to push it) and if this baby does like it, maybe put in the money to buy one that works!

  3. I feel the same way - we will have very little costs for the next baby other than the medical bills and even then, my husband won't have to pay any more for insurance for the next one. You might be able to find a swing cheaper on Craig's list (or at garage sales, but those things go really fast so you have to look up garage sales with baby items and be the first ones there!). Most of my early stash of cloth diapers came from ebay/Craig's list and they were mostly new/like new (some still with tags). Also, I like the Baby Babu brand of diapers and they are fairly cheap, with free shipping and often have good sales. They work as well as the few "pricier" ones we own.