Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Your Baby Doesn't Have To Break the Bank

I am officially 32 weeks pregnant today!  It feels like forever when I'm faced with something I love but can't have because it's not good for baby, but when I look back on it, it's flown by!  I don't want to stop feeling her kick and wiggle around :( (Or lose the 'yes I'm eating again, I'm pregnant' excuse)

But it's definitely getting my ass in gear trying to pick up as many shifts as I can.  Whatever I make now will affect what I earn for maternity leave, plus once the baby comes and my income is cut in half there will be very little wiggle room, and not much extra being set aside each month.

One of the first things I did after I found out I was pregnant was go online and search for a baby cost calculator.  I knew babies were expensive!  Although we were already sitting on a large chunk of money we had saved to move and pay for school, I didn't want to have to start all over in saving for it.  I found a great calculator on Baby Center.  It breaks down all the different categories of supplies you will need, as long as give you the average prices for each item.  You can check off items you will or won't be getting (for example, if you're going to breastfeed, you won't need to worry about formulas).  It then adds up all the numbers, based on whether it's a one time purchase (stroller) or monthly purchase (diapers) and then gives you a total for your baby's first year.

I was actually surprised.  When I filled it out, saying I was going to breastfeed and I believe I said I would be using cloth diapers, my total for the year was around $6,000.  I was expecting it to be much more!  Maybe with everyone's dramatization of how expensive babies are, I had this huge unbelievable number in my head.  So it was definitely a relief, especially since I was still in shock.

That being said, have we spent $6,400 on the baby?  Not even close!  I believe as it stands I have spent a total of roughly $20 on baby stuff.  An adorable fancy dress covered in cherries which was just too cute to pass up, and two button pins that say 'my daddy dressed me' and 'daddy did my hair'.  Oh, and about $47 and paint and supplies to paint her room, which looks wonderful.

So what about all the necessities? Furniture, clothes, baby toys, where's the $6,000 worth of stuff?

The very happy answer: FREE!

Yep, and it's not like we entered some baby contest and won everything.  What people don't tell you about having a baby is how much STUFF people will just give you.  It's almost as if you're the one doing them a favor!  As far as clothes go I'd say we have too many!  Of course who knows how big she's going to be or how fast she will grow, so we will see what fits her.

So far we got a leather highchair (which was imported from Italy, fancy eh?), a baby swing, a playmat (which can go for almost $100, can you believe that!?), a baby walker,  vibrating baby chair, baby books, shoes, tons of blankets, breast pump, and we still have a crib coming from Kyle's parents and I believe a stroller and car seat (that has 3 years before it expires) on the way.  That's a TON of money we saved.  And the baby shower's not till next month!

Also, if you're planning on using formulas, or disposable diapers, both have much cheaper alternatives!  You can still get a breast pump so that you can actually go out on your own and someone else can feed the baby, it will pay for itself very quickly when you compare it to the cost of formula.  And people think cloth diapers or gross, but you'll be changing a dirty diaper regardless, it's still going to be smelly and gross!  It may as well not cost you an arm and a limb every time you do it.

So if you're expecting a baby, and also a huge chunk of your money gone, ask around. Anyone you know that has kids but aren't having any more, a lot of them might have basements with baby stuff just sitting around collecting dust. More than half our stuff came from people we work with.

1 comment:

  1. That is pretty awesome shannon. I have noticed that people just seem to buy maria so much stuff for her baby! she says like please don't give me clothes at this point hehe. The stuff you bought for her sounds adorable :) Good luck when she comes! If you have a baby shower I want an invite ;)