New Baby Expense Tracking


Another goal I set for myself last year was to keep track of how much money we spent raising our second son through the first year.  In this initial and also this follow up entry, I provided some background as to the categories I thought would be relevant.

As expected the biggest expense were medical bills.  Even though my son is healthy, he had to have a minor surgery when he was around 10 months old.  This put his medical bills at almost $6,500 for the year, of which we had to cover $1,500 out of our own pocket.

We saved a lot of money in diapering and feeding the baby.  Using coupons, extra care bucks and register rewards to pay for diapers.  In average I paid $4 per pack of diaper my son went through during his first year.  $240 was the total spent for the whole year.  In contrast this article puts a tag of about $100 a month that could be spend on diapering a baby.  Breastfeeding and making his baby food also allowed me to save a lot of money on feeding him since I did not spend any money on expensive formula.

In total our out of pocket expense for the first year was $2,120.  This is a fraction of the estimated $10,000 the article mention.  Of course, the article includes maternity leave and childcare costs which are not applicable to us.  I know that if we were still living back in the Philly suburbs our childcare expense alone would be about $10,000 for the year.

I know many parents are stuck with high daycare bills that can bust any budget.  But even smaller savings from using coupons to save on diapers, making your own baby food, breastfeeding or using formula checks and coupons can help make the financial impact of raising a child.

See the complete spreadsheet of expenses here.

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  • Heidi

    This definitely gives me hope! I was so worried about having the extra mouth to feed, not to mention diapers, but so far it hasn’t broken the bank yet! I’m looking forward to seeing how well it works for this coming year as my baby is just starting to eat baby food. 🙂

  • This is *exactly* the kind of post I go nuts for! These kind of specific break-downs (excel included), in comparison with what “average” America claim you need to spend are truly wonderful!

  • Sandy

    I’m just curious, what kind of surgery did your son need? My 9 month will be having surgery in Feb to correct a cleft palate.

  • Kelly

    I agree that your diaper costs are low but I do think the $100 per month in the article is too high to be typical. That was the same estimate that an expectant mom quoted to me so I ran some calculations. At the time (2004 birth), we bought all our diapers by the case at Costco for $30 each. As the article states, newborns do use up to ten a day. But as the baby gets bigger, our diaper count dropped and it just happened to keep pace with the lower diaper count per case as the sizes went up. In fact, our baby used exactly one case per month, no matter what the size. So our expenses were $30 plus wipes.

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