Take a seat, grab a drink (probably alcoholic) and let’s begin. Okay, so the arbitrarily decided upon cost per month of having a baby is $1,000/month for the first year. Since we’re just talking about new parents I’ll stop there. Plus, we don’t have enough time or alcohol to go beyond a year right now.
Friends, we could have had one sweet ass car for that price, but we choose the family track in the game of life. If you have a spare $1,000 laying around in your monthly budget, good on ya. Take your drink, click X in the upper-right hand corner of your screen and head out to the pool, there’s nothing here for you. If not, hang tight, because my 5 months of parenting have obviously made me a child-rearing financial expert.
Dude, before we start some obnoxious mommy war, let me be clear. These are the things my husband and I are doing that help us save money. I totally get not everyone can breastfeed. There are TONS of ways to save money on formula, too. Anywho we haven’t noticed an increase in our monthly food bill, my pump was free through our insurance and I haven’t needed to buy more milk storage bags yet, so our net cost so far has been $0. It’s great for mom, it’s great for baby and ladies, you have an excuse to chill on the couch looking at Instagram like 100 times a day. Win.
2. Cloth Diapers
Again, not for everyone, but it does save money in the long run. There are some startup costs, but you can even minimize those by buying diapers on sites like clothdiapertrader.com. Start-up costs can range from $60-300+, but from birth to potty training you could save up to $2,500 using cloth diapers. It cost us about $300 to get started and we bought one-size diapers that will last until she’s potty trained. Our water bill went up $0.14/month, so that hasn’t been a huge factor. We also haven’t needed diaper rash cream or baby powder since we started cloth. Now blow-outs either, and if you’re going to be washing shit either way, at least save some money.
3. Homemade Baby Wipes
Let’s all agree that wipes are one of the cheaper expenses associated with having a baby. You can buy in bulk and get coupons to save yourself some money. But, you’re usually little chemical laden squares to wipe on your child’s ass. My daughter got one hell of a chemical burn from Huggie’s. Not cool. Making homemade wipes costs about $2/month and takes about 5 minutes. You’ll save about $20/month and that adds up over time. (Unless you spend that $20 on Starbucks. Which I definitely don’t do…)
4. Consignment Shops
Here’s how it works: bring all the stuff you don’t use anymore to a consignment shop (make sure it’s in decent condition) and sell it for cash or store credit. Then use that money to buy cheaper (but still awesome) baby stuff and clothes. On our last transaction we brought in a bunch of clothes and random things and got $44, we bought her a bunch of clothes and ended up still making back $12. We were literally paid to shop. What we couldn’t sell we donated to a local pregnancy shelter. Everyone wins.
5. Baby Toys/Gear
Babies come with a lot of stuff. Our small apartment looks like the baby section at Target, but our small space makes us truly consider what we buy. We aren’t getting a jumperoo, a walker or an activity yard. We haven’t bought her every baby toy that struck our fancy. As much as I want to spend gobs of money on my baby, we are trying to use money where it counts. Rather than buy our daughter expensive things she won’t use in the span of months we take her to do fun things or save that money for something better down the road. She will literally play with anything, so I prefer to give her interesting household items to explore rather than a mountain of $40 plastic toys.