Budgeting for Baby

A couple times a year we like to sit down and review our budget. We do this for obvious reasons… mainly so Julie can show me that I spend too much on fast food and video games!

Anyway, last week we sat down to plan for some upcoming expenses and we figured that now would be a good time to start designing our "baby budget." We want to make sure we are prepared. It wasn't until we started making a spreadsheet and running through mental lists that we realized that we had no idea what to budget for!

For example, take the most basic baby necessity… diapers! We know we need them, but we don't know how many we need! And on top of that, we don't even know how much they cost! How much should we plan on spending on diapers in a month? What kind of diapers do we need? Are diapers really all that necessary? Would it be cheaper to just wrap the kid up in newspaper?

Basically we know nothing… I guess we'll just have to wait until we're in the situation to learn what the baby's needs are going to be. Until then, any advice would be great! Let us know what you wish you would have been more prepared for… and could someone tell us how much diapers cost?


9 Responses to Budgeting for Baby

  1. Ashley says:

    I don’t know if my advice is even really helping BUT, let me tell you that as far as budgets go, throw it out the window. I had $1 in my pocket the day I found out I was pregnant! Now that Reese is 6 months, some how I can still manage to buy diapers, wipes, formula and baby food and still have money for me to eat. ONLY by the graces of God. I would say this, everytime you run to target for something, buy a pack of diapers or wipes, that way you aren’t stumbling out at midnight with no sleep to go buy some. Only buy 2 packs of newborn size diapers, they grow fast, so stock up in 1’s and 2’s. At 6 months, Reese is already in size 2 diapers! Hope this helps!

  2. Deanna says:

    If you don’t have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership yet, it is worth it to buy diapers and baby wipes. You can’t buy newborn sizes there, but babies grow out of those so fast that a couple of packages are probably all you’ll need. Diapers go on sale at places like Target (which also has their own brand of diapers) frequently, and in my mind, name brands are not always necessary. Both the Target brand and the Costco Kirkland brand work well. And at Costco, you can buy a 6 pack box of baby wipes refill packages – VERY nice!

    Since we use cloth diapers at home (no diaper service – just me!), we only get disposables once every six weeks to two months for the kids – they only wear them at night and at church (so other people will change them in the nursery). So our budget is quite different. Easily, budget in at LEAST $40 per month for diapers and wipes.

    And if it’s too costly, you could always follow the kid around with a bucket. 😉

  3. Matthew says:

    You will change, 50 to 70 diapers a week (it was double for me) for a while. The Costco route is the best way to go. Deanna’s right that they don’t sell infant sizes. We got a lot from our baby shower, though. The shower is where you need to clean up. Invite people you haven’t spoken to in years if you think they’ll pony up some cool baby gear.

    Here’s what you need to budget for:

    1) Diapers (duh)
    2) Formula – $20 at Costco for two cans. This will last a while if you’re breast feeding – but even then, mommy needs a break now and then – but breast feeding is way economical)
    3) Clothing. If you have a first-time grandmother, you might be able to guilt trip her into buying the clothes. If not, buy lots of onesies and pants. That’ll last you a while.
    4) Beer. (just wanted to see if you’re paying attention)
    5) Doctor’s co-payments. Especially if the kid gets sick a lot.
    6) Toys. Let’s face it. Every time you go into Wal-mart or Target, you’re gonna get something, right?
    7) I’m assuming you won’t have daycare expenses but that one’s a bitch.
    8) Fast food – let’s face it, the first 2 months neither of you are going to want to cook.
    9) Video games. (Again, just checking. Although I hate to break it to you that Video Games are going the way of the Do Do in your house. You won’t have time. Trust me.)
    10) Budget for time off of work if you can. It’s worth it.

    Good luck. Email me offline and I can probably dig up our budget (my wife is the CFO in our family) and give you some more pointers.

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