Notice: All forums will be retired as of May 31st, 2016 and will not be archived. Thank you for your participation in this community, and we hope you continue to enjoy other content at

Baby Budget?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Baby Budget?

    My DS is a month old, and DH and I are doing a budget to figure out if it will be possible for me to reduce my hours or even stop working for awhile (I'm supposed to go back in May and really don't want to!). We haven't had DS long enough to really know the costs to budget for him. Right now I'm breastfeeding and supplementing with formula, and his intake is about half and half.

    I realize this can vary widely, but would any of you be willing to share what your monthly baby expenses are for formula, diapers, clothes, etc.? 
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    I'm sure there are people who keep track way better than I do, but I think it's difficult to nail down because things constantly change.  For example, we eventually supplemented with formula once a day, then twice a day, but only a couple months later we started cutting bottles out and adding snacks.  Grand total, we literally spent like $100 on formula.

    Diapers - I am signed up for moms and receive one case of Luvs every month for $32.99.  I've had to run out and buy some once or twice, but pretty much we've spent $32.99 per month.

    Babyfood - Again, I didn't keep track very well, but we made some of our own and I tried to buy cases of the Earth's Best when possible since buying in bulk is usually better.  But you could buy (most) veggies you want to eat anyway and puree them for baby, so that it wouldn't be much of an additional cost.

    Clothes - Hand me downs and MILs are key!  Not to mention clearance racks and coupons.

    Not sure how helpful that is, but that is my 2 cents!  If it weren't for daycare (and since we didn't have to buy much formula), I would say having a baby is not all that expensive.  But I have definitely spent money on optional items that I wouldn't have purchased if we were on a tighter budget (headbands, etc.).
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    I'll share:
    Formula was about 30/week

    Diapers are $40/case and that usually last 3 weeks - A case of wipes last way longer.

    Clothes can really vary - We need clothes for our house (obviously) then daycare and also my parents. So when I buy a sun hat I but 6 (3 per kid) or two snow suits (per kid), etc.  I splurged on clothes with DD more than I do with DS.  I don't know if I could put a cost with it, but I'd say you need 10 outfits, 3/4 pair of pj's per size depending on how frequently you do laundry.  The first year can be hard because you can need multiple wardrobes within a season, that can get expensive.  DD is almost 3, I now really only need to get 1 wardrobe per season and that saves a lot.
    Baby Food was probably $60/month

    For us there are always other expenses that come up, like new car seats, etc.  

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    Keep in mind the extra costs associated with staying at home - activities and classes with your little ones, meeting other stay at home moms for lunch, gas for car from driving more during the day etc.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    There are lots of free activites to do with babies. Story time at the library is a good example. And things like Music Together are about $200 for 9 classes.
    Lunch with other stay at home moms?   Ha ha ha.
    What you may have to figure in is extra heat in the winter or AC in the summer since you're home all day.
    Budgets can vary widely. But if you get clothes on sale you can save a ton. Carter's has tshirts and shorts for $6 this week as an example.
    I got all my diapers, wipes and even some jarred food at Great prices delivered right to the door.
    Next year you may need some baby proofing stuff - cabinet locks or a few gates. You'll have to buy a new car seat too. And you go through stuff in the first year so quickly. The bouncy seat, swing, jumperoo, gymini will all be gone by the time your LO is 12 months old. So borrow if you can or get things on sale. I sold all my stuff at Kid to Kid in Natick when I was done. They only give about 25% of the original value - but it was better than nothing.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    I've never added it up, but I'd say the main essential expenses are diapers, formula (if you need), and baby food (if you use store bought).  To save money on these sign up at the various brands websites for coupons and ask relatives to as well.  For instance, I signed up for formula coupons not knowing BF would work out.  When it did, I sent all the coupons I got to my cousin who is formula feeding (about 12 $5 off coupons).  Check for sales and stock up too.  A couple of months ago Target had a special on Gerber baby food for $0.85 and it's normally like $1.19 so we stocked up then and saved.

    Most other things you can get secondhand - garage sales, craigslist, friends and family, etc.  I can count on one hand the number of clothing items I actually bought for my kids new.  The rest were gifts and secondhand.  Kids grow out of things so fast that a lot of stuff was as good as new.  I will resell when I'm sure I'm done with babies and I'm sure I wil get the money I invested in clothing back.  Toys and books are great secondhand too!  

    The things we've really spent $$ on were carseats and our double stroller.  I wish we didn't get the double though.  We live in a town with a transfer station and swap shop and my DH found a great double jogger almost as good as new there.  For free!  He also found a bob!  Can you believe it?  If you have a swap shop, definitely check it out!

    Good luck in your decision.  If you can swing it, I say go for it!  The daycare savings alone will cover everything you need for baby and much more.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    The baby himself is not that expensive...diapers, wipes, food and formula are the "must-haves".  Diapers and wipes stay pretty consistent - I'd say we go through about a case of diapers a month.  I was 50/50 formula-breastmilk until DD was 6 months, after that 100% formula til age one; we used enfamil, which they had at Costco...3 packs for the price of two at babies r us.  And as food intake increases, formula intake decreases.  I was very good at watching the sales.  DD used the Plum Organics baby food in pouches (best invention EVER!), so whenever it was on sale, I'd stock up.  Also, they start moving to table food, and then your baby food costs go down.  Now at 17 months, the only real DD-food we get are her fruit pouches, cookies, and goldfish.  Everything else is food we eat too. 

    I would also think about how long you'd want to be home.  Is it a year?  Will you have more children?  If you do, then for how long?  Because you also want to factor in the loss to your retirement savings if it will be longer term.  Are you already on your husband's benefits?  If not, what would those adjusted costs be? (That was a HUGE one for benefits are about 100x better than DH, and about half the cost).  Some of the bigger picture stuff, that isn't about your take-home pay, you know? 

    It's a tough decision...either way you're making sacrifices.  Good luck figuring it out!

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    I'd think there would be a lot of hidden costs.  For instance, this household's electric bill went from $35/month to $65/month when we got married, because I'm home during the day running stuff and there's more laundry and dishes to do for having another person in the home.  Babies generate their fair share of laundry and dirty dishes/pump parts, etc.  Use energy saving cycles on the dishwasher and clothes washer (reduce wash time and temperature as practical), and be sure to take the clothes out of the dryer as soon as they are dry.  

    I know this is a little OT, but speaking of laundry and the dishwashre, if you have a septic tank, be aware that extra loads of laundry and dishes put a strain on it.  We had a problem last year with ours because of that, and switched to bleach-free dishwasher detergent  and a more gentle clothes detergent (Trader Joe's).  Bleach is the enemy of the good bacteria in the spectic tank.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    You are a better person than I am for planning a budget.
    The only other remarks I have (besides diapers etc. above):
    (1) our AC costs went way up last summer because either I or my mom was taking care of the LO at our house.  Heat was not noticeable this winter, but she likes it cold plus it was a mild winter.
    (2) even though my daughter is 19 months and not *technically* eating baby food, our food budget has still gone up a lot.  Various reasons:
    2a. "special" real people food for her - organic milk, organic yogurt, et cetera - including that I buy stuff like grapes (which she loves) even when not on sale.
    2b. pouch food - she loves those Plum Organics and Happy Baby pouches and I still get them for her.  I don't know if that's weird, but they are easy and they are fruits and vegetables.  (I do stock up when there are good sales - Target,, even BRU and the regular grocery store.)
    2c. take out - this is obviously not a problem everyone has.  But we get more take out than we used to.  You have to be disciplined and a planner not to.  We're tired and busy, and even on the 1 weekday I don't work, I often don't cook much.  Partly because she wants to play with me, and partly because I want to play with her!

    Anyway.  You can be an organized person and avoid those expenses, but I think it's a "know thyself" thing.  :)
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    Everyone has made very good points.  I would say we spend an extra 200-300 per baby a month (or at least we would if they weren't with family during the day while I work and I'm not allowed to pay for what they use there) up to a year and then with out formula it drops to 100-200.  But that is rough number since I've never actually looked at the numbers all together.

    When DH was home after being laid off I noticed (like Kar mentioned) all of our utilities cost almost doubled including water and sewer.

    We really struggled when we had to but the expensive "extras" like new car seats.  But the day to day ones like boots or bathing suits can add up too.  Thankfully I have the youngest kids in the whole family so I have more clothes for the twins than they could wear if I put them in something different everyday.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    Wow, this was so helpful. Thanks, all!

    Medford -- Don't give me too much credit :-). I'm just doing a one-time calculation to figure out if this is feasible at all. I've never managed to keep a monthly budget for more than...a month, though DH and I are pretty good at knowing what's within budget and keeping our checking account pretty even.

    Luv -- Good point about retirement and healthcare. I'm pretty sure my current benefits are way better than DH's, but regardless of whether I keep working FT, I do NOT want to go back to my current job (to the extent that I think it would be detrimental to my mental health), so I'm not even sure I should factor that in. Given this economy, I probably should though...

    I'd like to be home or working part-time with DS for a year, probably not more. We hope to have another baby within the next 5 years or so, and if it happened sooner rather than later (i.e. before DS is in school) it's likely daycare costs would negate my salary, since I work in nonprofit and don't anticipate any lucrative job prospects on the horizon. I wish this decision didn't depend so heavily on $...ugh!
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Baby Budget?

    Of course, it's not magical and fun to think about it from a financial perspective, but so wise.  You're passing the blessing of sound financial judgement to not only your nuclear family today but to future Arcain generations. That's magical.