Thursday, March 27, 2008

Budgeting for Baby

A friend (who shall remain unidentified to protect the innocent), recently asked how much is appropriate to budget for a new baby, including diapers, wipes, and clothes.

Hm.

I don't honestly know. I randomly guessed $20 a week would more than cover everything (assuming the use of disposable diapers and wipes, and not including any formula expenses), but I don't really know.

What do YOU think, wise readers?

(K in the Mirror had some great comments, but had some trouble providing a link - here's the link: http://swistle.blogspot.com/2007/11/baby-diaper-usage-month-five.html. Thanks K!)

12 comments:

K in the Mirror said...

I would think that's a reasonable guess, and if it's their first baby it will be less because they'll get lots of diapers and clothes for gifts.

I don't know how to link properly in comments, but swistle did a thing every month talking about exactly how much it cost to use disposable diapers for her baby. That link is for month 5, and it's got links to the earlier months in the post. That might be helpful.

http://swistle.blogspot.com/2007/11/baby-diaper-usage-month-five.html

K in the Mirror said...

And of course the link got cut off. Of course.

When I click copy and paste, everything shows up except the "ml" of "html" at the end. Hopefully you guys can figure out how to get there from here. :)

huddtoo said...

It's tough to say. I tried my best to breastfeed my daughter, she wanted nothing to do with it, there honestly wasn't anything at all there for her to get even if she did latch on right and figure out the sucking. My mother had problems as well with nursing, could be in the genes. So, after a day of crying (me), screaming (my daughter) and pain and frustration, I knew she was hungry, we went to formula. So...after all that, I spent about $23 per week on powder formula (the cheapest route to go).

A baby can go thru a pack of diapers in a week when they are little. I wouldn't really count clothing, if you have friends and family and you have a baby, you tend to get enough clothing to last a while. But, after a while, you could budget $10 per week for clothing as they grow I guess. Depends on what you need, how much you get. I really don't know.

Don't forget to add some money to your budget for foods as they get older. Whether you make your own or buy pre-made stuff, you'll still have to up your grocery bill somewhat to feed that extra little mouth.

Neno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tenille said...

K - thanks for the link! It works for me, but just in case other people couldn't see it either, I added it to the post itself.

Huddtoo - formula is crazy-expensive, isn't it? So I guess if you need it, just go ahead and at least double the estimate!

Lindsey said...

cloth diaper and the baby will be free! (but I've gotten the impression that you already know that)

I did a little cost comparison between my cloth diaper expenses to early disposable expenses and it worked out to be about $40-50/month for a case of Seventh Generation diapers delivered from amazon. Wipes probably add about $5/month. With breastfeeding, what other expenses do you have? You already have clothes from previous baby...

Milehimama said...

That is so hard to say. Is she using disposables? cloth? disposable diapers with cloth wipes?

Clothes - is she a onesie kind of girl, or does she plan on complete outfits with matching shoes and socks for each day of the week? New, used, or hand me down? Will friends and relatives be giving clothes or toys for gifts (Christmas, Easter, birthday, baby gift).

Food - breastfeeding is almost free. Formula can run $50 a week with a growth spurt. Will she make her own baby food in a couple of months or buy organic or buy regular? Does she coupon?

Every baby is different. *In general* a newborn will go through 6-8 diapers a day, a 6 month old will go through 4-6 diapers a day. So budget accordingly!

Milehimama said...

I guess my point is... any budget is *possible*. What your friend should do is figure out what amount is possible to set aside for baby expenses, and adjust her shopping habits accordingly.

You can spend $20 a month or $500 a month, depending on the choices you make.

zdoodlebub said...

I was so clueless with my kids at first. Everyone always says so ominously that babies are sooooo expensive. And then when they were here, I was like, what is everyone complaining about?

Now teenagers, I've heard and do believe, are a different story.

Also, don't forget to add medical expenses for the well baby checks. If you don't have insurance or if you have co-pays, either way, it adds up. And if you choose to break up the vaccination schedule into individual shots spread out more rather than going by the doctor's schedule of multiple shots in one visit, that also costs more.

Tracy & John said...

I think kids are really expensive. There are a lot of hidden costs of children that one might not think of right away.

Delivery charges for those who have the baby in the hospital.

Insurance - Health (add the little bundle joy ) & Life (with every child parents should review their life insurance)

Medical costs- We've have had rather sickly kids, who are constantly at the doctor($$), then needing prescriptions ($$), or lab work($$), x-rays ($$), specialists($$), surgeries($$) or other things($$$$$$).

Change in lifestyle expenses can add up in a hurry, such as a larger vehicle or home.

Childcare - Our biggest expense since having kids has been daycare. It's like having 2 mortgage payments, and we're only part-time!

We haven't even started saving for the kids' education yet. We hope to parlay half the dough we're kicking to daycare into some type of education fund...but we'll see if that ever happens.

From my experience the "stuff" that comes with babies is cheap. The real cost comes from everything else.

But they're worth every penny :)

-John

Old Saratoga Books said...

Love your blog. Gluten-free frugal is our household mantra too. Re: bringing up baby more frugally, I found that making homemade baby wipes was a real money saver. I got my original recipe from the Tightwad Gazette books by Amy Dacyzyn, which I recommend to everyone. I can't find my copy at the moment, but here's a link to a similar recipe for cutting paper towels in half and soaking them for use later on. http://tipnut.com/homemade-baby-wipes-recipe/

I used a Ginsu knife that my wacky uncle gave us for a Christmas present one year and that worked well to saw through the paper towels. I recycled two old jumbo-size baby wipes containers to hold the homemade ones and kept one in the car and one at home. Now that my kids are teenagers, I haven't needed to make them in a while, but I know that when they were babies and toddlers, we saved a lot of coinage with this homemade tip. Best of luck!

Come on over and visit my gluten-free cooking blog anytime and see if there are any recipes your family might enjoy:

http://wheat-free-meat-free.blogspot.com

-Rachel

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