Since having my daughter I continue to come across blog posts about ‘how expensive kids are‘ and comments like ‘I’ll never have kids because they’re money grubbers‘. While I’m not arguing that kids are expensive over their lifetime, some of the numbers I’ve read are just plain foolish. Baby Center has an online calculator to
scare help you estimate your first years worth of expenses if interested. Now I realize I live in Canada, and have the protection of universal healthcare not having to pay any medical costs and am entitled to a full 52 week maternity leave, but even with these costs aside, eight months in and I am no where close to spending the estimated $10,000+ dollars most sites I’ve been to estimate for one child in their first year and my daughter certainly doesn’t want for much.
These are a few of the areas that, in my opinion, continue to get over estimated and parents can make up substantial savings.
- Clothing. Baby Center estimation $59.00/month. I always check the local thrift stores before ever buying new. Some of the favorite pieces that my daughter has worn were ones I found in thrift stores for next to nothing. Kids, especially infants, grow out of their clothes so fast the clothes are hardly worn. I’ve found GAP dresses, a brand new infant snow suit, many sleepers and onsies, all in near perfect condition and never spending more than $4 to $5 on any one item.
- Toys. Baby Center estimation $35.00/month. I’ve found most success with online classifieds for gently used toys. Just last week I spent $10.00 and got a very large bag full of small toys (blocks and such) which I estimated were less than two years old (based on some of the characters), hardly used and retailed at over $100.00. When parents decide they want to regain their house from under a mountain of toys they will sell for cheap! I will continue to shop online classifieds as long as I can get away with it! Christmas too.
- Diapers. Baby Center estimation $72.00/month (disposable). Cloth diapers are a huge money saver but not realistic for all families, mine included. We use disposable diapers and I find buying in bulk and with coupons while on sale to be the best. One step further, if you have the time, write a letter to the company who makes your favorite diaper and tell them how much you enjoy your product. You might get a little surprise like a high-valued coupon (offering a free box of diapers). Worth a shot! We also had a ”diaper shower” where instead of a traditional girls only baby shower the men came too, drank beer and brought diapers for my husband. We received over seven months worth of diapers!
- Breastfeed. Baby Center estimation $105 and up/month on formula. For a million reasons and benefits I breastfeed (but respect those that cannot/don’t) but the cost savings on formula is huge. I also spoke about food savings a few weeks ago.
In conclusion, yes kids are expensive but they by no means have to be as expensive as some people or companies will have you believe. Regardless of how much you choose to spend it’ll likely be the best spent money in your life because they really are worth every single penny.