We have all heard it at one time or another: “Children are Expensive.” Just how expensive I wonder? I am setting on a quest to find out. I am committing myself to track how much money my husband and I spend on our new bundle of joy until he turns a year old ( or 12/3/08). I have gathered all of my receipts from what I have spent so far and made an inventory of the items I am reusing with son #2.
One main expense category will be diapering. Now, considering that this is a frugal blog and I like to think of myself as somewhat frugal, you will be shocked to learn that I won’t be cloth diapering my son. Cloth diapering is by many the frugal choice; however, it is not the right choice for us. First, I couldn’t justify the expense on cloth diapers when it seems that each one of them sells for around $12-16. Then you also have to consider that you still have to get different sizes and we will need to get multiples of them so I don’t have to be doing laundry every eight hours. I am sure there are ways to get around my own arguments but ultimately to us it is not worth the hassle. You also have to remember that I have a husband who knows too much about microbes and bacteria growth and what not. We both just couldn’t commit on this issue, so disposables it is. Some of you know that I have a lot of diapers already stocked up (check out the last page of my price book for my detailed inventory). I will be adding the cost of diapers to my tracking spreadsheet as I go through the diapers. This will also be a great way to calculate at the end of the years just how many diapers I used on my youngest son.
For medical care I decided not include the cost of delivery but will include cost of well-baby visits, immunizations and any sick visits. We have a high deductible plan, so we actually do have to pay out of our own pocket for a lot of these expenses. I will go over delivery costs on a separate post for those who might be interested in knowing how much those can turn out to be.
I struggled as to how to account for money spent on furniture. The main reason why I struggled is that I didn’t know how to allocate money spent buying baby furniture that was also used with baby #1 to costs of raising baby#2. But finally, I decided that to make this exercise as close to reality as possible I will charge second son with half of the cost of the items we are reusing with him.
Another big category is clothing, or it could be depending on how well you restrain yourself. Because this is son #2 for us, he will be getting a lot of hand me downs from his older brother. We are fortunate enough that their birth months are roughly 4 months apart and youngest son is so far smaller than my oldest one. So, I expect he will get to use a lot of the clothes my son used. I am not going to be able to allocate any clothing expenses from what I have used with 1st son down to son #2 for two reasons: First, I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of clothes passed down to my children, especially barely worn baby clothes. Finally, any clothes that I have had to buy I have bought on sale or at garage sales and to try to identify each piece and its cost would be impossible for me at this point. So, any clothing costs for this new baby will be entirely for any new or new to him clothes I purchase for him.
The rest of the categories are pretty standard. But I am sure more will be added as the year progresses. On the right column of this blog, under Shared Files you will see the expense tracking spreadsheet dedicated to this purpose. I will also be giving continuous updates and clarifications on some of the expenses.
Edited because I forgot to mention clothing.