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November 6, 2017

How Much Kids Cost - The First Year

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but it just keeps falling through the cracks. I know it's been a while because this post is about Frugal Babe's first year, and she's almost two now. Anyway, we all know babies are expensive, but it's hard to say exactly how expensive. We tracked our baby-related expenses for the first year (we stopped after a year because expenses dropped off quite a bit and it was getting annoying) to see exactly what having a baby did to our finances.
I won't belabor this post, but I will make a couple points before we get to the juicy data. First of all, we received lots and lots of gifts from friends and family that probably saved us a couple thousand dollars, but I think that's pretty normal. We (and by we, I mean Chrissy) exclusively breast fed our baby, so that saved us a lot on formula. Lastly, we weren't ashamed to buy used baby gear, because the new stuff is outrageous and most of the preowned stuff is barely used.

The most extreme (potentially) money saving thing we did was cloth diaper. I'm honestly not even sure if this saved us money given the upfront investment (although, Amazon saved us a ton on that) along with the water and detergent required to wash them. Compare that to how shockingly cheap disposables are (how can Walmart even make diapers for $0.14 each?), and some rough calculations show the cost for the first year is probably pretty similar. However, the longer we use the cloth diapers, the better they are financially, and if we reuse them with a second baby or even sell them (stop laughing, that's a thing), cloth diapers are almost certainly cheaper overall. Finances aside, I couldn't stand the though of sending thousands of diapers to the landfill, but I will admit we do use one disposable every night because the cloth ones didn't have the capacity to hold 12+ hours of pee once Frugal Babe got a little bigger.

So what's the damage? We came in far below the average of $12,000, but you had to expect that. Our total spending was about $5,500. Of that, $3,000 went to the hospital for the birth, so we spent about $2,500 on discretionary items. So, kids are expensive (especially the first one), but not that expensive.

Here's the data table with every expense. Enjoy!
Maternity Clothes
Maternity Clothes
Maternity Clothes
Changing Table/Dresser
Wall Art
Maternity Clothes
Maternity Clothes
Reusable diapers, diaper accessories, misc.
Bins for Dresser
Video Baby Monitor
Diaper Bag
Breast Milk Storage, Boppy Covers, Swaddle, Drying Rack, Changing Pad Liners
Carrier, Sound Machines, Spoons
Bike Carrier
Nursing Bra
Birth - Down Payment
Nasal Aspirator
Breast Feeding Pillow
Reusable Baby Wipes
Reusable diapers (newborn)
Birth Announcements
Nipple Cream
Nipple Cups
Birth - Remaining Balance
Nursing Bra
Backpack Carrier
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Car Seat Cool Pad
Used Clothes and Shoes
Nursing Bras 3x
Pj's and Hat
Clothes (long sleeve items)
Clothes (pants)
Petroleum Jelly for Exzema
Keepsake Ornament Kit
Diapers, Lube
Sheets, Socks, Bath Toy
Birth Certificate
Doctor, Epi Pen
1st Birthday Party Supplies
Used Clothes, Car Seat
Cloth Diapers
1st Birthday Food
1st Birthday Food
$ 5,510
Total (Minus Birth)
$ 2,545

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