Happy Monday to everybody.

Had a pretty good weekend with the family, the weather was nice, we checked out a small festival with great food, music, custom t-shirts, all the good stuff that brings your wallet down to size :)

This got me thinking about all the stuff I didn't think about while my wife was pregnant with the baby. Everyone always tells you that having children is an expensive proposition, they just don't tell you what you'll be spending this money on.

Of course I factored in diapers, wipes, clothing, strollers, car seat, and all of the basic needs. If I can give one piece of sound advice for new dads, convince your wife's friends and family to throw a baby shower :)

We got most of the "big" items at the baby shower. We got a crib, infant car seat, baby carriage, baby swing, bassinet, and the playpen all at the baby shower. Plus we got tons of clothes and diapers. I thought I was in the clear, this would be easy, people just exaggerate the how much money you spend....reality slapped me square in the face after about 2 months.

My little piglet is apparently one of the hormone induced, super charged kids that you hear about all the time. She grew so fast that most of the clothes we got at the baby shower, she didn't get to wear. She wasn't an obese baby, just really tall and big bodied, like a mini WNBA player. That's when the money started pouring out. We had to buy shirts, pants, dresses, onesies, jackets, hats, and booties. And the diapers, good Lord the diapers. She went through them faster than we could buy them, even with the big Costco boxes we brought. After the initial shock wore off, I thought we were in the clear. Then she started eating solid foods. These little jars can run anywhere from $0.59/jar to $0.89/jar. Doesn't sound too bad until you realize that she eats about 4-5 jars a day. Even though we took advantage of the WIC program, which supplied us with formula (1 can of powder formula costs about $17, so this saved us a ton of money), baby cereal, and juice for the baby, they don't provide for baby food.

This also came with the addition of a high chair to our stable of baby furniture. The high chair was about $90 with tax. I did not mention the toys that we bought to help enhance our little genius' mind and horizons. Now there is no substitute for singing the ABC's with your baby, or reading out loud to her as you read that book you've been trying to finish, but the toys helped her learn to entertain herself and build her imagination (she hasn't told me this, but I'm guessing). Some of these can be pretty pricey, so we made our own whenever we could. She also has very generous grandparents who have helped us out a lot as far buying toys go. Now, I did have the baby under my health insurance at first. For every doctors appointment, we had to give a $15 co-pay. This is small too until you realize that the appointments are plentiful for those first few months, on top of the unscheduled visits every time she sniffles funny and it causes a panic inside you.

So far we have:

clothes
diapers
furniture
doctors visits
food

Not too bad right...wrong. This is a continuous cycle, as she keeps growing, you have to buy more clothes. You also have to buy bigger diapers, they don't put as many in the box because they are bigger, so you buy more frequently. Once she starts walking and crawling, you have to go to the doctor for all the little bumps and bruises (not all, but the first couple will really make you nervous). Once she stop eating baby food, you have to buy more regular food for the house to factor in the new cute little mouth to feed. Once the walking starts, you she also needs sneakers and shoes and socks. And she needs some "big girl" toys to keep her mind growing. Once she grows out of that infant car seat, she'll need a bigger one(this costs us about $150 on sale, she was 8 months old). There's no 2nd baby shower, this one is on you.

I was going to use some actual monetary figure for this, but everyone is different. You may decide that your baby does not need as much clothing as mine did, and you spend more on food than clothes. Or you may already have a high chair that your cousin gave to you, so you spend more on toys. So I'm just trying to give you an idea of what categories you may need to add to your budget. And if you can't get the baby shower for any reason, these numbers can put a pretty big dent on your finances.

We were very fortunate with the baby shower and grandparents and everyone else that was able to help us out. If not for them, this could have been a lot harder. You do what you have to do for you children. Once you have kids, you realize very quickly what the word sacrifice means. You may skip lunch at work or cancel that gym membership, or even stop buying the foods you love just to have some extra money to buy some more baby food. I was willing to get 2nd job but then I would never be home and miss too much time with my family. If I had to though, I would do it in a heartbeat. That first time you come home, and you baby comes running towards you won;t let you go, it will all seem much easier and worth every ounce of effort.

To help offset some of these costs, my wife and I sold the stuff she stopped using on Craigslist, or if we heard of someone needing something, we jumped right in. We also purchased some used clothing/toys on this site, nothing wrong with buying used. Your baby won't know the difference if something is used or new. We also try to take her outside as much as possible and do little things with her so she doesn't spend the whole day playing with her toys and get bored with them. I think it's too easy to get caught up in all of the "new" things available for babies and kids. She might like a walk in the park better than some crazy, colorful, talking elephant. Even a trip to see Grandma can be an adventure as she rides the train for the 1st time.

Memories you both share will outlast any toy or dress, keep that in mind and everything will seem worthwhile. We all want to give our children a better life than we had, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just don't forget how much fun you had with your mom or dad when you were growing up. Do you remember what you got for your 1st or 2nd birthday? Do you remember that crazy day at the park when they chased you through the sprinklers and took you out for ice cream afterwards?

Thanks for reading

I love you baby

7 comments:

  1. Dimples said...

    Hey Rad,

    I will post a comment related to this post tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you about PayPerPost. I have been reading about them and folks are making pretty decent moola. I haven't joined up because I have no clue if my new blog would qualify. Check them out and let me know what you think.

    Dimps  

  2. Moneymonk said...

    My little piglet <- too cute

    The best financial advice I received about kids are get on welfare and you will then have medicaid, WIC and free child care !and a few dollars in your pocket.

    Although I have not taken the advice it seem like an easier alternative.

    Babies are expensive but I think when you have just one it become more expensive. You tend to do more things for them  

  3. Dimples said...

    "We also purchased some used clothing/toys on this site, nothing wrong with buying used. Your baby won't know the difference if something is used or new."


    Hell yeah aint nothing wrong with buying used clothes. You know what a baby can do to an outfit. Do you want them to do it to a $50 Rocawear outfit? Heck naw. I got my daughter all her stuff from consignment stores. Only things I bought brand new was her church clothes. I realized after changing her 4 times a day her first 2 months that I had made the right decision. LOL. She could throw up on that $2 dress all she wanted to. Don't even get me started on when they start walking and exploring.

    LOL  

  4. Rad said...

    Money: WIC has really helped us a lot, but we didn't qualify for welfare or food stamps. I wouldn't want to take that from someone who really needed it, since we're not poor. Some people really have no other avenue to take.

    Dimps: I agree, all of the expensive clothes that she got as gifts have been ruined with stains. Those $1 target t-shirts seem much more worth it now, especially with her walking around everywhere.

    You guys always make me feel so smart, my wife deserves most of the credit, but I'm the one blogging so I'll take it :)

    Keep on keeping on ladies  

  5. Anonymous said...

    I have not found having a child to be expensive. We bought almost everything at garage sales or craigslist. There is NO reason to buy new, expensive car seats, cribs, clothing, etc. And there is also no need to buy over-priced babyfood. It's healthier and cheaper to make it yourself. All you have to do is put the food item (carrots, broccoli, etc) in a blender with a little water or formula. Cheap, easy, fresh, and less chemicals than what you buy in a jar.  

  6. Anonymous said...

    One other thing regarding the suggestion above that people make their own baby food...if you are short on time, this can be made in big batches on the weekends and then be refrigerated or frozen until needed.
    There truly are endless ways to save money if you make the effort.  

  7. Rad said...

    I agree with you on the clothes, car seats, cribs, etc. buying used makes a lot mroe sense than buying these brand new, if you can find them. Making the food is a different story. Pesticides and other chemicls are used when treating these fruits and vegetables out on the farms, for our systems there is no real effect, but it can have a profound effect on the baby. We would then have to buy organic, which in our neck of the woods can be difficult to find. When you do find it, it is more expensive to purchase then regular fruits and vegetables. When you factor in the gas and time spent, it is actually cheaper to purchase the jars. We did the math but I didn't save the exact numbers. We do purchase the organic fruits and vegetables from time to time and make her homemade food, for the day. But we do not store it for any length of time. We also have a juicer that we use to give her fresh juice. The effort is not the problem, resources are. There is no need to go "over the top" in spoiling children, love and affection go a long way, and they are free.

    Thanks for the comments.  


 

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